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Ashes

CA still planning for Ashes crowds


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|| CF DESK ||

Despite the challenges posed by the third wave of COVID-19 outbreaks in the country, Cricket Australia (CA) is still aiming for the Ashes to be played in front of spectators.

Chief executive Nick Hockley told local media on Wednesday that rising vaccination rates in Australia gave him hope that the lucrative series against England would go ahead as planned.

"At the moment, based on vaccination rates, we're very hopeful we'll be able to have crowds in Melbourne and Sydney. The Ashes is so big, every test has its own unique character, in the first instance we'll be doing everything we possibly can to play the schedule as planned and very hopeful and optimistic that we will have crowds,” Hockley said.

"We've got a range of protocols that fit any given circumstance and we'll react accordingly. I think it's too early to tell,” he added.

Hockley said he had a great deal of empathy for international cricketers, many of whom have spent much of the last 18 months in biosecure bubbles, and was talking to the government about finding a solution.

"We're working sensitively and constructively with governments to try and put in the best possible plans for players and support staff for both the England squad and our own squad," he said.

"Both us and the (England and Wales Cricket Board) want to absolutely field our best possible teams with optimal conditions for them to compete at their absolute best in what is ultimately the biggest stage in world cricket," he added.