The Indian cricket team’s much-anticipated tour of Australia will begin either in Adelaide or Brisbane instead of favoured Perth after Western Australia State government made it clear that there won’t be any relaxation in quarantine guidelines in their territory.
According to a report in ESPNCricinfo, the Adelaide Oval is prepared to host back-to-back Tests, including a day-night game as well as the Boxing Day against India later this year in case the iconic MCG is not available because of rising coronavirus cases in the State of Victoria.
Also the Indian and Australian players will be coming directly from the UAE after IPL where there is a second wave of COVID-19 cases.
“We didn’t think it was acceptable to have the team return from a high-risk overseas location and then take part in normal training activities outside of quarantine, before flying out to another state to play games.” Mark McGowan, the Premier of the WA State government was quoted as saying by the report.
“There were just too many risks in the model put forward by Cricket Australia. We need to remain vigilant and do the right thing by all Western Australians and not take unnecessary chances.”
As per Cricket Australia’s (CA) initial plans, the Australian team, which is currently touring England, and the Indian players were expected to enter the country via Perth.
Both the teams were supposed to be based and train in a relaxed quarantine environment in Perth ahead of the series, but Western Australia State government’s insistence on a strict hotel quarantine for international travellers has put paid to CA’s plans.
The BCCI has requested the CA to allow its players to train during the quarantine inside the bio-bubble which is not possible in Perth. India’s tour of Australia is likely to start with limited-overs matches (T20 series) before the action shifts to the four-Test series.
“We acknowledge the WA government has a firm position on quarantine and border arrangements,” a CA spokesperson said. "The Australian men’s team will not be quarantining in Perth upon their return from the UK.”
The CA is expected to come out with a revised Test series schedule this week.