Cricket Tasmania chairman Andrew Gaggin has hit back at claims that the state government provided a financial incentive to secure its biggest-ever haul of Big Bash cricket.
Tasmania will host a record 10 matches during BBL10, including the season-opening clash between Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Sixers and a further seven of the opening 12 fixtures.
Hobart's Bellerive Oval will host eight of the 10 matches while Launceston's UTAS Stadium secured back-to-back fixtures on December 15 and 16.
Responding to claims made by Channel Seven managing director Lewis Martin in an affidavit submitted to Federal Court, Gaggin said the state's BBL dealings had been entirely above board.
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"The Trump-like allegations concerning the Tasmanian state government are patently absurd and untrue," Gaggin said.
"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."
Seven's 28-page document, which threatens to claim damages for "millions of dollars", details a list of grievances against Cricket Australia around changes to scheduling for the upcoming summer of cricket.
Among those grievances are the rescheduling of the Test series against India, the BBL season being pushed back a week and Tasmania's glut of early-round BBL matches.
"CA scheduling the playing of eight of the first 12 men's BBL matches in Tasmania in two relatively small and unheralded stadia (including the University of Tasmania Stadium) would be commercially irrational unless CA were otherwise incentivised, presumably by arrangement with the government of Tasmania, to do so," the affidavit read.
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"In the 2019-20 men's BBL tournament, only one of the first 12 men's BBL matches was played in Tasmania.
"I have told Alistair Dobson, head of BBL at CA, that for logistical and broadcast reasons Tasmania is the least preferred location for BBL broadcasting by Seven, for reasons of quality of the stadia and the consequent levels of attendance and audience.
"I am therefore concerned that CA has been offered and preferred an incentive by the government of Tasmania rather than comply with CA's obligations to Seven."
Early last month, Premier Peter Gutwein revealed the government would contribute $260,000 towards hosting BBL fixtures, an increase of $60,000 from last season.
TASSIE FIXTURE LIST
- Dec 10: Hurricanes v Sixers [BO, 7.15pm]
- Dec 12: Renegades v Scorchers [BO, 7.15pm]
- Dec 13: Strikers v Hurricanes [BO, 2.15pm]
- Dec 13: Sixers v Renegades [BO, 7.15pm]
- Dec 15: Hurricanes v Strikers [UTAS, 7.15pm]
- Dec 16: Scorchers v Stars [UTAS, 7.15pm]
- Dec 19: Hurricanes v Renegades [BO, 11.10am]
- Dec 20: Sixers v Strikers [BO, 11.10am]
- Jan 2: Hurricanes v Stars [BO, 5.05pm]
- Jan 4: Hurricanes v Stars [BO, 4.05pm]