Travelling broadcast crew cut by 1/4th for last two Ind-Aus Tests

Cutting down on the size of the travelling broadcast team by a sizeable number while securing exemption for players, support staff and match officials has been one of the steps taking by Cricket Australia (CA) to ensure the smooth passage of the last two Tests of the series against India.

CA had on Tuesday announced that the third Test will go ahead in Sydney on schedule from January 7 and the teams will travel from Sydney (in New South Wales) to Brisbane (in Queensland) for the last Test even though the Queensland government has strict border controls, especially for those travelling from New South Wales. According Queensland government’s laws anyone can enter Queensland without a border pass, ‘unless they have been in a Covid-19 hotspot, New South Wales or overseas in the last 14 days’.

“Prerequisite to get from Sydney into Brisbane at the moment is a government exemption. That’s the work we have been doing with Queensland health (department) and that will be under the requirements that we have worked through with the Queensland chief health officer as we move into Brisbane even if the borders remain closed,” Nick Hockley, the interim chief executive officer of Cricket Australia, told media.

He explained that CA has tried to minimise the travel from NSW to Queensland especially for the broadcasters.

“Putting on and producing a Test is a massive endeavour. Over the course of the week, it is to understand how the Sydney Test will be resourced from people and broadcast crew out of NSW and also have the Brisbane Test being resourced from people and crew that are already being based in Queensland. That enabled us the minimise the travel from NSW to Queensland which obviously makes logistically feasible and those numbers are relatively small as compared to our first estimation,” added Hockley. “And the players, support staff and match officials they are the people who we are working with Queensland health to get the requisite exemptions.”

Explaining the numbers, Hockley said, “We can service a large part of covering the Test out of local markets. We are talking more in the vicinity of 20 people maximum (who will be travelling). While last week or earlier this week we were looking at 80-100 people.”