COVID-19 Impact: Cricket Australia Declares Melbourne As Standby Venue For Sydney Test

Melbourne: Cricket Australia has reaffirmed its dedication to host the third Check of the continued four-match sequence towards India as per schedule on the Sydney Cricket Floor (SCG) regardless of the Covid-19 outbreak on Sydney’s northern seashores.

Cricket Australia on Thursday mentioned Melbourne has been positioned on standby to host the thirst Check between India and Australia if Sydney’s COVID-19 scenario renders it “untenable” regardless of efforts being made to proceed with the unique schedule.

The destiny of the third Check has been shrouded in uncertainty since earlier this month after a recent COVID-19 outbreak within the northern seashores in Sydney, which is scheduled to host the third Check from January 7.

“CA has reaffirmed its commitment to giving it the best chance to play the third Vodafone Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground and the fourth Vodafone Test at the Gabba as per the original schedule,” CA mentioned in a press release.

“Should the public health situation in NSW render playing in Sydney untenable, CA’s preferred contingency plan is to work with the Victorian Government to play the third Vodafone Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground followed by the fourth Vodafone Test at the Gabba,” it added.

A ultimate resolution on the third Check venue can be made throughout the Boxing Day Check.

Although the scenario in northern seashores has improved, there are considerations that Queensland won’t grant the required exemptions, which can imply gamers and broadcasting crews will be unable to journey from Sydney to Brisbane between the third and fourth Exams.

Nonetheless, CA interim chief govt officer Nick Hockley mentioned the board is working carefully with the Queensland authorities to get exemptions.

“We are working constructively with the Queensland Government and have been encouraged by the positive nature of discussions with them. We thank the Queensland Government for their support,” Hockley mentioned.

“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,” he added.

Earlier, CEO Stuart Fox mentioned Melbourne Cricket Membership is “ready” to host back-to-back matches between India and Australia however would moderately see Sydney retain its conventional New Yr’s Check.

“I’ve been in touch with Cricket Australia daily and our position has been, we would love to see the Sydney Test Match stay in Sydney, it’s no fun having it relocated,” Fox advised ‘SEN Radio’.

“We’re ready to go if we’re needed, but again, if that Test can get away in Sydney, it’s such an iconic Test, very traditional and an important sporting moment in Australian sport so let’s hope it gets away, I’d hate to see it moved.”

In a bid to avoid wasting its New Yr fixture, NSW on Wednesday had supplied to host the Brisbane Check as properly, if the Queensland authorities refuses to grant exemptions to the groups coming back from Sydney.

“I don’t think a decision is pending today, probably the strategy would be to delay and see where the Sydney numbers get to,” Fox mentioned.

“Clearly, there’s quite a bit to consider with staffing, getting ready one other pitch and ticket gross sales, so we’re ready, we’re able to go, however once more, let’s hope it stays in Sydney.

The sequence finale is scheduled to be performed on the Gabba on January 15.

(With PTI Inputs)

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