The Victorian and South Australian governments are railing against suggestions Cricket Australia charge them to host a cricket Test.
The states have come out swinging, despite cricket’s governing body dismissing reports the iconic Boxing Day Test could be taken from Melbourne – if another city bid high enough.
“The suggestion that there’s going to be a move away from the MCG for the Boxing Day Test is absolutely not correct,” Cricket Australia’s executive general manager of operations, Mike McKenna, told 3AW on Friday.
But state governments remain wary of a report in The Australian newspaper that CA is seeking to extract taxpayer funds for the right to promote their respective city through television and branding at games.
SA Sports Minister Leon Bignell says his state won’t be paying a cent for hosting a Test match, saying the government has spent $535 million redeveloping Adelaide Oval.
“We’re not going to put up taxpayers’ money to guarantee those games,” Bignell told reporters in Adelaide on Friday.
“The ball is back in Cricket Australia’s hands.
“If Cricket Australia want to get greedy … we’ll pay for marketing but we won’t pay for games that we already have.”
Victorian Sports Minister John Eren was also dismissive, particularly at the prospect of Melbourne losing the Boxing Day Test.
“It doesn’t belong to Cricket Australia. It belongs to the fans … it’s not going anywhere,” Eren said.
CA’s McKenna said they were in talks with governments about promotional possibilities for the states during games, similar to how Melbourne is promoted during the Australian Open tennis and formula one grand prix.
Next summer’s cricket fixture was due to be released next week.