05 Sep

Cricket Australia’s budget for protocols needed to combat the effect of the anti-Covid-19 pandemic have passed A$30m (£16.4m).

The extra expense is being invested to ensure a full season of cricket is played after recent threats to the governing body’s broadcast rights income.

Former CA chief executive Kevin Roberts said earlier this year that CA would need to allocate about A$10m (£5.4m) on biosecurity measures. However, a second wave of the virus in Australia has forced CA to purchase charter flights for its players, book whole sections of hotels and acquire stocks of expensive Covid-19 test kits, according to a Brisbane Times report.

The recent threat by domestic broadcaster rights-holder Seven Network to terminate its contract has intensified CA’s efforts to protect its season against an infection outbreak that would disrupt its international or Big Bash League matches, which could lead to a breach of television contracts. Seven pays around A$82m (£44.9m) a year to Cricket Australia for the rights as part of its six-year deal.

The Australian men’s team’s limited-overs series in England started this weekend and the first players will also enter bubbles in Australia on Sunday when NSW and Victorian members of the women’s national side fly to Brisbane to quarantine ahead of six matches against New Zealand.

CA announced today (4 September) its commitment to producing a full summer of cricket, by confirming the full 59-game Women’s Big Bash League will be hosted in Sydney, beginning on Sunday, October 25.

CA plans to operate a secure biosecurity bubble for all upcoming matches against India, Afghanistan and New Zealand, as well as the Big Bash League. The details of the playing and broadcast schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.

John Stephenson


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