After cloud hanging around and doubts lingering over whether the third Test at SCG will go ahead as per the original plan, Cricket AUstralia has confirmed that there are no changes to the schedule. A fresh outbreak of COVID-19 in Sydney forced other states to close borders with New South Wales.
Cricket Australia has confirmed that the third Test between India and Australia, which is set to take place on January 7, will go ahead as per schedule and will be held at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). There were doubts regarding the venue of the third Test after a fresh Coronavirus outbreak in Sydney compelled other states to close borders with New South Wales. Sydney had earlier hosted two ODIs and two T20Is of the ongoing tour, but it was being reported that with a cloud hanging around SCG, MCG or Adelaide would be front runners to host India in the third Test.
Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia's interim CEO, however, asserted that there is a lot of time to go for the third Test and there have been no changes made to the schedule.
"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," Nick Hockley said in a statement, reported Cricbuzz.
"We have made no changes to our schedule and our preference remains to play the match at the Sydney Cricket Ground."
CA is quite optimistic despite the recent developments of increase in COVID cases, as they have been able to deal with tricky situations arising due to the pandemic in the months that have passed.
"Cricket Australia has developed a solid track record of delivery throughout this most challenging of summers and will 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.
He also stated that similar to Sydney there were apprehensions cast on the viability of Adelaide hosting the first Test in lead up to the series given the COVID cases. He also cited the example of Melbourne, which was under the scanner but will now be hosting the Boxing day Test.
"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. 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."