Cricket Australia has provided the following update regarding the Vodafone Test series in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak on Sydney’s northern beaches:
1. 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;
2. CA has strong biosecurity protocols in place and is working constructively with the Queensland Government to secure the requisite exemptions to enable players, match officials, broadcasters, media and staff to move from Sydney to Brisbane following the third Test should border restrictions remain in place at that time;
3. 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.
Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia’s Interim CEO, said CA is working closely with all relevant parties to ensure Australian Cricket completes a safe and successful Border-Gavaskar Trophy series as scheduled.
Hockley said a final decision on the third Test venue would be made during the Boxing Day Test.
“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,” Hockley said.
“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.
“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.
“CA has well-established biosecurity protocols in place and through safe completion of the season so far – which has included the women’s internationals in Brisbane, Marsh Sheffield Shield in Adelaide, rebel WBBL in Sydney and the Dettol men’s ODIs and T20s in Sydney and Canberra – has developed a strong track record of safe and responsible return to sport.
“We would like to thank the NSW Government and Venues NSW, who went to tremendous lengths to bring India’s squad safely into the country and stage the Dettol ODI and T20I series, as well as the Victorian Government, Cricket Victoria and the Melbourne Cricket Club for their agility and responsiveness in the current environment.
“I also want to extend our deepest gratitude to the Indian and Australian squads for their professionalism in observing our bio-security protocols throughout the summer.
“Thanks also to our State and Territory Associations, the Australian Cricketers’ Association, our broadcast partners and sponsors as well as our staff for working tirelessly to deliver an outstanding summer of cricket, despite the obvious challenges. It continues to be the most incredible team effort.”