Scott Morrison was unflinching when quizzed whether the families of England’s cricketers would be permitted to enter Australia for the Ashes.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has emphatically declared he would not do any “special deals” to allow the families of travelling English cricketers entry into Australia for the Ashes.
As it stands, only the players will be permitted entry into Australia, but families and partners will not be able to come.
Watch Live Coverage of the 21/22 Marsh One-Day Cup Live & Free on Kayo Freebies. No Credit Card. No-brainer. Join Now
With the English team set to arrive on Australian shores in November, a number of touring cricketers may opt out of the tour due to the lengthy period of time they could be away from their loved ones.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson even revealed discussions had been held with Mr Morrison regarding the matter, but had not received any assurances.
“I raised the Ashes [with Morrison] and he said they were going to do their best for the families,” Johnson said.
“He totally got the point that for cricketers it is very tough to ask people to be away from their families over Christmas.”
However, Morrison seemingly shot down any hopes for family members and partners to receive a special exemption to travel to Australia, as he sticks to the national plan for international borders to open once 80 per cent of the nation aged 16 and over is fully vaccinated.
“I would love to see the Ashes go ahead, as I shared with Boris last night,” Mr Morrison told reporters in Washington.
“But there’s no special deals there, because what we’re looking to have is vaccinated people being able to travel.
“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 those vaccination rates.
“Those who are coming for that purpose when it comes to their profession, which is playing cricket, I don’t see the difference between that and someone who’s coming as a skilled, qualified engineer or someone who’s coming to be ready for study.”
Those in the English camp may point to the fact the families of the Indian cricket team were granted exemptions into Australia in 2020 as a sign of hope, but with just months to go before the England team is due to fly to Australia, the clock is ticking.
The situation becomes even trickier when the number of overseas Australians trying to get back into the country is factored in.
The First Test of the Ashes series begins on December 8 at The Gabba in Brisbane, as Australia looks to retain the urn for the third consecutive series.