Could the PM provide the touring Indians and Virat Kohli with travel exemptions to ensure the series can go ahead? Picture: Getty Images
Could the PM provide the touring Indians and Virat Kohli with travel exemptions to ensure the series can go ahead? Picture: Getty Images

Australia banks on PM’s office to open cricket borders

The Federal Government is open to granting special travel exemptions so international sports teams can enter the country, Cricket Australia employees have been told.

CA boss Kevin Roberts has also set an August deadline to decide the fate of this year's ICC Twenty20 World Cup in Australia, where teams would have to fly in from 15 different countries.

In an internal video on Thursday in which CA workers were invited to type questions, Roberts revealed he spent Wednesday night on a high-level phone hook-up formulating cricket's restart plan with the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board), the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) and New Zealand Cricket.

"We were sharing some thoughts around biosecurity plans for making cricket happen," Roberts said on the video.

"We're working on our own plans of seeing how we can get the Indian men's team in particular out to Australia.

"Is that on commercial flights? Is it on chartered flights?

Cricket Australia boss Kevin Roberts has told staff the PM’s office is open to granting travel exemptions to international sporting teams. Picture: Supplied
Cricket Australia boss Kevin Roberts has told staff the PM’s office is open to granting travel exemptions to international sporting teams. Picture: Supplied

"We're working with Federal Government right through to the PM's office on the possibility of travel exemptions for international sporting teams.

"The PM's office has indicated they're open to that."

Roberts confirmed he was in talks with NZ cricket boss David White on staging a Trans-Tasman series for both men and women this summer, should Virat Kohli's team remain in India.

Australian women's coach Matthew Mott asked Roberts whether India's women's team could join Kohli's flight, to build on the momentum gained from March's T20 World Cup final at the MCG.

"That's not something we've thought of … but we wouldn't rule anything out," Roberts said.

Men's coach Justin Langer, who has been reduced to two days a week, urged Roberts to keep CA's financial crisis in-house.

"The less we are influenced or effected (sic) by media speculation and criticism the better. And the less we play out this process through the media the better. Just a thought mate. JL," Langer commented on the video.

 

Australian coach Justin Langer has urged Roberts to keep CA’s financial struggles in house. Picture: AAP
Australian coach Justin Langer has urged Roberts to keep CA’s financial struggles in house. Picture: AAP

 

Roberts told employees there was a "long line of organisations" applying for JobKeeper, but auditor PwC had advised that CA should qualify, based on March's finances.

Around 200 disgruntled workers have been stood down on 20 per cent pay. Executive are receiving 80 per cent.

Roberts said his efforts to source them temporary work at businesses including Woolworths should "lessen the pain".

Some employees have engaged lawyers to read the terms of CA's two-page stand-down document.

Senior managers have been told it is their job to convince their teams to sign the document.

One employee was advised they did not have to sign the document, but it could result in an exit strategy for them.

Roberts said there was no end date in sight for the stand downs.

sam.landsberger@news.com.au

 

Originally published as Cricket Australia banks on PM's office to open cricket borders


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