'You are a disgrace': Aussie cricketer lashes out at WA Premier

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·Sports Reporter
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Perth Scorchers wicketkeeper Josh Inglis has slammed WA premier Mark McGowan.
Josh Inglis has responded angrily to WA Premier Mark McGowan's move to delay the planned reopening of the state's border. Pictures: Getty Images

Perth Scorchers star Josh Inglis has savaged Western Australian premier Mark McGowan after he announced the state would backflip and delay the re-opening of their border.

In a since deleted post on his Instagram story, Inglis labelled McGowan an 'absolute muppet' after it was announced on Thursday evening that the WA border would remain closed to the rest of Australia, with only limited exceptions.

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The state had been slated to lift border restrictions on February 5, however Mr McGowan said the risks posed by outbreaks of the Omicron Covid-19 variant around the country had forced the state's hand.

“I know this decision will be unpopular with many people ... for that I am sorry. I understand exactly what this means for many people who were hoping to reunite without any restrictions,” Mr McGowan said.

“It would be reckless and irresponsible to open up now – I can’t do it.”

McGowan correctly predicted the decision would be an unpopular one, with Inglis one of many to take to social media to express their disapproval.

In his post, Inglis said it was simply not good enough that despite two years of sacrifice and time to prepare, that the WA health system remained unprepared to coronavirus outbreaks.

“You have had two years to sort this out,” Inglis wrote.

“Two years of bragging about how good you are. Two years to sort out your disaster of a hospital system with your record surplus.

“Two years of separating families and destroying peoples mental states in the name of health.

“Two years, we all did what you asked of us so we could get out of this.

“And you spit in our faces and take away any hope West Aussies had of this ending. You are a disgrace to this state and a disgrace to this country. Absolute muppet.”

The ongoing hard border has necessitated some degree of upheaval for WA sports, with the Scorchers having to relocate to Melbourne for the BBL season, while Perth lost the 5th Ashes Test to Hobart due to the strict rules as well.

Steve Smith's BBL snub is ridiculous: Sixers

The Sydney Sixers have slammed the banning of Steve Smith from the BBL finals as a nonsensical move that is sad for cricket.

Smith's application to play for the Sixers in Saturday night's qualifying final against the Perth Scorcers has been rejected by Cricket Australia (CA).

Other state franchises voted against allowing Smith to play in the qualifier, a decision rubber-stamped by CA.

Smith, an inaugural Sydney Sixer, wasn't on the franchise's playing list this tournament given the star batsman was expected to be unavailable due to Australian commitments.

The cancellation of Australia's limited overs series against New Zealand opened the BBL door for Smith.

The Sydney Sixers' hopes of signing Steve Smith have been dashed after Cricket Australia hosed down the move. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
The Sydney Sixers' hopes of signing Steve Smith have been dashed after Cricket Australia hosed down the move. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

But CA says allowing Smith to play for the Sixers would have breached rules put in place two weeks ago regarding replacement players for squads hit by COVID-related withdrawals.

CA introduced a local replacement player pool (LRP) from which all franchises must pick any fill-in - had Smith been placed in that pool, he would have been available for any BBL franchise.

"In creating the central LRP pool, it was agreed that clubs would not be able to contract LRPs from outside the pool for the remainder of the season," CA said in a statement on Friday.

"This request was denied ... noting that other players returning to the BBL from international duty have been retained on club lists throughout the competition."

Several of Smith's Australian Test teammates, including Nathan Lyon and Travis Head, have returned to their BBL clubs and will play in the finals - but they were all contracted by their franchises for the tournament.

With AAP

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