With Queensland Government adamant about their coronavirus quarantine policies for India’s tour of Australia, Sydney looks set to play host to the visitors in November after Cricket Australia and Queensland Health authorities met on Monday, Cricinfo reported.
The SCG stands ready and able to host the majority of the white-ball matches that are meant to start the tour. Along with the SCG, the Manuka Oval could also host some of the matches.
The report also mentioned that CA’s broadcasters Foxtel and Seven would also be happy with the change, as it helps reduce costs besides removing the need for production staff and commentators to quarantine in Queensland before commencing the season, especially open border currently existing between NSW and South Australia (SA).
“We’ve got ground availability, we’ve got the processes and we can certainly manage the biosecurity. We’d certainly be a very willing substitute," Tony Shepherd, the SCG Trust chairman, told the Sydney Morning Herald. “We’d be interested in helping cricket in any way we could."
Currently, they are slated as three ODIs on November 27 and 29 and December 1, with the T20Is scheduled on December 4, 6 and 8. The latest update came with the New South Wales (NSW) state government already demonstrating its willingness to host overseas touring squads in the shape of the Argentina rugby team.
The red-ball part of the tour is likely to start with a pink-ball Test at Adelaide Oval between December 17 and 21, as Adelaide remains a back-up option for the Boxing Day Test from December 26-30. Otherwise, Melbourne would be preferred for Boxing Day, followed by Tests in Sydney from January 7-11 and finally in Brisbane from January 15-19.
Queensland, with elections around the corner, and CA have combined to host the Australia women’s white-ball games against New Zealand at Allan Border Field recently. However, there continues to be doubts about the Indian squad’s ability to serve out a 14-day quarantine period.
“Queensland Health and Cricket Australia held a productive meeting in regards to CA’s proposal to quarantine the Indian and Australian squads returning from the IPL," a CA spokesperson said. “This is an extremely detailed and complex plan that places the health and safety of the community, players and staff as paramount and there is clarification required in order to finalise arrangements.
“We would like to thank our friends at the BCCI for their patience and understanding as we work towards a swift and successful outcome. CA is confident of and committed to hosting a full schedule of matches between the Australian and Indian men’s teams this summer."