Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday (September 22) asserted that England cricketers travelling Down Under for the Ashes later this year will get “no special deals” allowing their families to accompany them.
The Ashes 2021-22 is due to start on December 8 with the first Test match at the Gabba, Brisbane. However, it remains to be seen if the visitors will bring a full-strength squad for the iconic series.
Some players, particularly those with young children, have a fear that their families may not be able to travel with them because of strict Australian border controls.
Morrison addressed the reporters after meeting British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Washington and said that he would “love” to see the Ashes go ahead, but there would be no favours.
“There’s no special deals there, because what we’re looking to have is vaccinated people being able to travel,” he said.
Morrison further added: “I don’t see a great deal of difference in skilled workers or students, who will be able to come to Australia when you reach the vaccination rates.”
International travel is set to resume when 80 percent of Australia’s total population over 16 is fully jabbed.
The Australian PM faces a complicated situation as thousands of his countrymen are stranded overseas due to border closures and limited space in quarantine facilities. If the families of England cricketers receive special treatment, then it is likely to spark public outrage.
“I raised it with Mr Morrison and he said he was going to do his best for the families. He totally got the point that for cricketers it is very tough to ask people to be away from their families over Christmas. He merely undertook to come back and see if he could find a solution,” British PM Johnson had told reporters after having dinner with Morrison.
In the wake of Morrison’s comments, Cricket Australia on Thursday (September 23) told broadcaster ABC they were “supremely confident that the full contingent will come and will play the full five Tests”.