Cricket Australia on Sunday stated that the third Test of the ongoing four-match series between Australia and India remains on track to be played in Sydney for now despite a fresh Covid-19 cluster in the city. The third Test is scheduled to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground from January 7-11. However, a report in The Sydney Morning Herald stated that CA is mulling over the idea of taking the third Test to Brisbane and switching the fourth match to Sydney.
“The third Vodafone Test is more than two-and-a-half weeks away, which provides us with time to assess the evolving public health situation on the northern beaches of Sydney," said CA interim CEO Nick Hockley.
“We have made no changes to our schedule and our preference remains to play the match at the Sydney Cricket Ground," he added.
Hockley further pointed out that Cricket Australia has developed a solid track record of delivery throughout “this most challenging of summers" and would continue to make appropriate and proportionate decisions in consultation with our biosecurity team, governments, state & territory associations, the Australian Cricketers’ Association, our partners and venues.
“CA has prepared for the possibility of Covid-19 hotspots and state border closures over the course of the summer and the protocols that we have put in place have been effective in ensuring the safety and success of the men’s and women’s domestic and international programs to date," the CA chief executive said.
On Saturday, the first pink-ball Test ended within three days at the Adelaide Oval with Australia clinching an emphatic eight-wicket win over India to go 1-0 in the series.
“It was less than a month ago that South Australians were contending with an outbreak of the virus in Adelaide and we have just completed a brilliant first Vodafone Test at the Adelaide Oval," said Hockley.
“We faced similar issues in relation to the Melbourne Cricket Ground playing host to the Boxing Day Test and we are now less than a week away from welcoming back Victorian crowds after a difficult year for the state. We will continue to work closely with all relevant parties to make the right decisions in the appropriate timeframes," he added.
Australia and India will now face each other in the second Test beginning December 26 at the MCG where a total of 30,000 spectators will be allowed each day of the game.