The COVID-19 pandemic continues to create challenging situations for attending live sports. The current lockdowns taking place around the country are causing uncertainty within certain quarters. Still, Cricket Australia has affirmed fans they are working closely with venues and governments to ensure the events are held safely.
ESPNcricinfo has reported that Cricket Australia is hoping for bumper crowds in the upcoming season. They will sell venues at 100% capacity for next season, except for the MCG, which will host the traditional Boxing Day Ashes Test.
Given the new international season starts in September, cricket has some time on its hands to lay all the groundwork in terms of live sports attendance. However, there remains uncertainty over how the summer will play out. Following the Covid-19 outbreaks, there is a possibility of late changes to capacity restrictions. Currently, Perth, Brisbane, and Sydney are under lockdown due to outbreaks of Covid-19. This has left the winter codes struggling to keep their competitions running despite the widening border restrictions.
Tickets will begin selling on 5th July, but the MCG will initially have 85% of its capacity available. Throughout the 2020-21 season, crowds were restricted on various levels.
The upcoming season starts with a busy schedule with the multi-format women’s series between Australia and India in September. Afghanistan is slated to tour after the T20 World Cup for a one-off Test leading to the men’s Ashes, which commences on 8th December in Brisbane. This will be followed closely by the women’s Ashes in late January as the men’s team is scheduled to tackle New Zealand and Sri Lanka in the white-ball series through February.
Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia’s CEO, says he believes the experience they had last summer where they played an entire professional season would place them in good stead. However, he admits that they are hoping for the best while planning for the worst with the continued border restrictions.
Meanwhile, he has assured fans that should the stadiums’ capacities be reduced due to government restrictions associated with the pandemic, they will issue full refunds.
International teams will continue to undergo two weeks’ quarantine upon arriving in the country. Sadly, with the borders unlikely to open until the middle of next year, foreign fans will not be able to attend the matches live.
As you wait with bated breath for more action in the upcoming season, keep us company as we update you on all the latest cricket news.