The Ashes 2013-14 January 23, 2014

Australia to expel Ashes journalists


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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 27, 2014, 5:10 GMT

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

  • Dummy4 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!

  • Derek 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.

  • Asanga on January 24, 2014, 22:27 GMT

    They should have come in the boat

  • Peter on January 24, 2014, 13:08 GMT

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

  • Srinivas 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?

  • Patrick on January 24, 2014, 1:54 GMT

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

  • Ian 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Ray on January 24, 2014, 1:17 GMT

    a tour lasting this long is insane

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