The Ashes 2013-14

Australia to expel Ashes journalists

David Hopps

January 23, 2014

Comments: 36 | Text size: A | A

David Warner speaks to the media in Sydney, May 23, 2013
Three members of the English press pack must pack away their dictaphones © Getty Images
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Series/Tournaments: England tour of Australia
Teams: Australia | England

Australia's tougher immigration laws are set to see three English tabloid journalists expelled and unable to cover the death throes of England's disastrous Ashes tour.

John Etheridge from The Sun, one of English cricket journalism's most experienced operators, has been refused licence to stay, as has Dean Wilson from the Mirror and Paul Newman of the Daily Mail.

Etheridge said that Cricket Australia had tried to negotiate on their behalf but that "all avenues have been exhausted".

All three journalists were travelling on a working visa which had been recommended by the Australian visa department.

They are the only three members of England's travelling press pack who had opted to cover the entire tour, including the warm-up matches, and so had gone beyond 90 days. "We had hoped to stay long enough to see England win a match," Etheridge said.

With all solutions seemingly exhausted, Etheridge has even appealed directly to Australia's prime minister Tony Abbott on Twitter.

Newman tweeted disconsolately: "Cricket Australia and the ECB have done all they can to help us but I guess, in Australia particularly, rules are rules..."

Seven England players plus members of the support staff will also go beyond 90 days. They are travelling on a different visa. Australia has yet to evict them.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (January 27, 2014, 5:10 GMT)

I suppose they are lucky they are not sent to Nauru.

Posted by   on (January 25, 2014, 2:00 GMT)

Australians like to see themselves as easy-going but in truth this is the most nit-picking, letter of the law, up-tight society on the planet. Try enjoying yourself at the Gabba!

Posted by dorothydix on (January 24, 2014, 23:50 GMT)

Can`t understand why us Poms need a visa, don`t we own the place? Our Queen is all over the coinage.

Posted by WannaBeRusta on (January 24, 2014, 22:27 GMT)

They should have come in the boat

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (January 24, 2014, 13:08 GMT)

Excellent work by the Australian authorities to clear out some of the riff raff

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (January 24, 2014, 3:54 GMT)

Man! What does it take for adults to walk in a line and respect the rules? Don't we teach that to our kids?

Posted by inthebag on (January 24, 2014, 1:54 GMT)

Ah, the privilged pom, as if the law of the colonies should extend to them.

Posted by Ian_Lister on (January 24, 2014, 1:29 GMT)

salazar555, what part of "recommended by the Australian visa department" can't you understand? Of course they should have got the right visa in the first place, which is what they tried to do. Only trouble was, what the visa officials said was the right visa turned out to be the wrong visa. Indeed you cannot have one rule for some and another for everyone else, which is why it is essential that officials are capable of understanding their own rules in the same way for everybody. You ask who is being incompetent. If, by "those following the law of the land" you mean the officials who couldn't correctly follow their own rules, then they did not actually follow the laws very well when they issued the wrong visas. Such bureaucratic incompetence shouldn't be excused just because those affected are unloved tabloid hacks. Think on - next time, the inability of these officials to understand their own rules could work the other way and let in someone who doesn't qualify for entry at all.

Posted by   on (January 24, 2014, 1:26 GMT)

If the players got the right visa and the journo's didn't then tough luck. The immigration dept missed a trick though, charge full whack again to convert to the right visa and let them stay once that is paid in full. Otherwise back to blighty with them.

Posted by voyrison on (January 24, 2014, 1:17 GMT)

a tour lasting this long is insane

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David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
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