Amid COVID-19 outbreak in Sydney, Cricket Australia (CA) has picked the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) as a back-up venue for the third Test between Australia and India.
The third Test of the ongoing Border Gavaskar Trophy is slated to be held at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) from January 7, but considering the current scenario in the capital city of New South Wales, CA has decided to choose MCG as a back-up venue for the third Test.
Not to mention that the second Test which is a Boxing Day contest, is scheduled to take place at MCG from December 26.
“We have always maintained that scheduling a full summer of cricket during a global pandemic would require agility, problem-solving and teamwork like never before,” said Cricket Australia’s interim CEO Nick Hockley as quoted by Cricket.com.au.
“We continue to place the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved as our number one priority. The record testing numbers and the drop in new community transmissions in NSW have provided cause for optimism; however, if the situation in Sydney deteriorates, we have strong contingency plans in place,” added Hockley.
Hosting Test in Sydney would put fourth Test in jeopardy
If CA manages to stage the third Test as per the original schedule in Sydney, then the Australian board shall face another problem related to the fourth Test, which is set to be played at the Gabba in Brisbane. That’s because the Queensland government have shut their border to anyone travelling from the greater Sydney area.
However, Hockley said they are “working constructively” with the Queensland Government to make sure the necessary travel exemptions takes place in order to schedule the fourth Test in Brisbane.
The MCG has not hosted a January Test since 1990 when Allan Border-led Australia defeated Pakistan by 92 runs. SCG, on the other hand, has not missed out on hosting an Australia Test match for an entire summer since the 1966-67 season.