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Big Bash: Tasmanian officials call Channel 7 claims ‘Trump-like’

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Tasmanian officials have hit back at claims from Channel 7 over poor grounds and government deals for BBL games on the Apple Isle.

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Cricket Tasmania officials have launched a blistering rebuttal to broadcaster Channel 7, labelling claims about government deals to play Big Bash games there as “Trump-like” in how wrong they are.

In a coup for the state, 10 matches of this season’s BBL will be played in Hobart and Launceston, including the season opener next week.

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The rescheduled plan, which pushed the start of the BBL back a week, drew the ire of broadcaster Channel 7, which is forecasting a loss of millions because of the changes.

In a 28-page document presented in court in Sydney, as part of its growing legal battle with Cricket Australia, it launched an unprovoked attack on Blundstone Arena and Launceston’s UTas Stadium.

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It described both grounds as “relatively small and unheralded stadiums” and claimed it would be “commercially irrational” to broadcast games from either ground and was also it’s least preferred venue.

The network also suggested games were only being played in Tasmania because of “incentive given to CA by the state of Tasmania”.

But Cricket Tasmania chairman, Andrew Gaggin, hit back on Tuesday and hit back hard.

“The Trump-like allegations concerning the Tasmanian state government are patently absurd and untrue,” he said on Wednesday

“The Tasmanian government has certainly provided an incentive. Its proactive and responsible COVID-19 policies have ensured that Tasmania is one of the world’s safest places and the perfect location to host the start of the Big Bash.

“However, let it be clear that no financial incentive was provided by the Tasmanian government to Cricket Australia for BBL matches to be played in Tasmania.

“Tasmania has long been the grassroots champion of Australian cricket, having provided a host of great players and the current Test captain.

“It is pleasing that Cricket Australia has acknowledged this, and we look forward to an amazing start to the tournament. Cricket Tasmania is an equal owner of Australian cricket and will continue to push for world-class content to be played in this state. Tasmania has successfully hosted international cricket for over 30 years and will continue to do so.”

The BBL begins in Hobart on December 10 when the Hurricanes take on the Sydney Sixers.

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