Scott Morrison has made a head-scratching comment about “Australians taking wickets in the virus” while sitting in the Ashes commentary box on day three of the fourth Test at the SCG.
Mr Morrison sat with Fox Sports commentators Isa Guha and Adam Gilchrist as more than 25,000 spectators donned pink to celebrate the legacy of the late Jane McGrath – on the day renamed in her honour – and support those battling breast cancer.
It came after Mr Morrison announced a $40m grant for the McGrath Foundation to fund breast care nurses over the next three years and provide crucial support to 20,000 patients.
“This is about an Australian effort here; the government will do its bit. But the reason the McGrath foundation is so successful is Australians do their bit,” Mr Morrison said while in the box.
The Prime Minister was later asked by Guha if he would attend the four-day Women’s Ashes Test between Australia and England from January 27 in Canberra.
She had earlier quizzed him about his support and interest in women’s cricket.
“Just down the road from you in Canberra – going to see you there?” she asked.
“I hope so, I hope so, at the moment my schedule is heavily dependent on Covid and we’ve got many challenges there as we know at the moment,” Mr Morrison began.
“But this is Australia living with the virus, look at out there and Australians taking wickets in the virus.”
Gilchrist, a legend Aussie wicketkeeper, laughed but appeared confused by the odd comment, before quickly changing the subject.
“They are indeed,” he said, before bringing up that Mr Morrison went to school nearby.
But the Opposition didn’t miss the opportunity to take a swipe after many people reacted with confusion on social media as to what the Prime Minister meant.
Shadow Assistant Environment Minister Josh Wilson tweeted: “Seriously. What is achieved by mixing cricket with stupidity?”
It is not the first time Mr Morrison has received cricket-related backlash.
In November 2019 during the Black Summer bushfires, he was accused of being tone deaf when he tweeted the Australian cricket team would give firefighters and devastated communities something to cheer for.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife Jenny had earlier been at the Jane McGrath High Tea event. Picture: Getty Images
“Going to be a great summer of cricket, and for our firefighters and fire-impacted communities, I’m sure our boys will give them something to cheer for,” he posted.
Former independent MP Kerryn Phelps was not impressed, tweeting: “It must be the empathy consultant’s day off.”
The McGrath Foundation is aiming to sell 240,000 virtual seats to the Sydney Ashes for people who can’t make it.