English must wait May 11, 2006

Australians get preference for Ashes tickets

Cricinfo staff

Disarmed: The Barmy Army will have to wait before they can belt out 'the Flintstones' at the SCG © Getty Images

English fans will have to twiddle their thumbs for a while before they can make plans to barrack their side in the final Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground in January next.

Cricket New South Wales has announced the sale of 1250 tickets but with the crucial caveat that they will be available initially only to Australian residents, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The tickets, priced at AUS$6000 each, are for the seats in the top deck of the Bradman Stand and comprise a package - buyers will be able to watch all international and domestic matches for over four years and will be guaranteed access to the bar, business centre and reception facilities now available at the renovated Bradman Stand.

From June 1 onwards Cricket Australia will sell tickets to Australians who register online with them for the Ashes matches, one-day international series and Twenty20 matches. The remaining tickets will be available to everyone from June 19.

English fans have already complained against this `discrimination' and the lack of tickets available to them for the keenly-awaited five-Test Ashes series starting in November. Earlier in the year James Sutherland, the chief executive of Cricket Australia said, "This is going to be the biggest summer of cricket that we've ever seen and we want to make sure that Australian cricket fans are there and take up the majority of the crowd.

"At the same time we're wanting to welcome as many English fans as possible to Australia. There has been an amount of tickets set aside for tour operators for the English coming out as part of a tour group."