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  5. Increase in COVID-19 cases raises doubts over Boxing Day Test between India and Australia in MCG

Increase in COVID-19 cases raises doubts over Boxing Day Test between India and Australia in MCG

Victoria has reported 75 new cases on Monday, which pushed health officials in Queensland to close its borders with the rest of Australia, to enact tough new protocols.

India TV Sports Desk India TV Sports Desk
New Delhi Updated on: July 01, 2020 11:55 IST
Increase in COVID-19 cases raises doubts over Boxing Day Test between India and Australia in MCG
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

Increase in COVID-19 cases raises doubts over Boxing Day Test between India and Australia in MCG

Team India is scheduled to tour Australia for four-match Test series later this year. The Boxing Day Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground is also the part of the tour, but the increase in COVID-19 cases in the Australian state of Victoria has cast some doubts over the venue hosting the iconic Test.

Victoria has reported 75 new cases on Monday, which pushed health officials in Queensland to close its borders with the rest of Australia, to enact tough new protocols.

On Tuesday, the three-match ODI series between Australia and Zimbabwe, scheduled to be played Down Under in August, has been postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier, Australia Test captain Tim Paine also expressed his fear regarding the matter and said the Boxing Day Test could be moved out of the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground in the wake of rising cases of coronavirus in Victoria.

"Certainly, from a player's point of view, we want to be playing in front of big crowds at the best venues and a big day like Boxing Day is something that everyone looks forward to and a big part of that is playing at the MCG," the keeper-batsman said in a video message posted on CA website.

"Fingers crossed things are going well enough that we can do that but, as I said, we are spoilt for choice here in Australia with some world-class stadiums. If something had to change, then, again, we have plenty of options."

Queensland in its new mandate force teams based in the state into a 14-day quarantine should they play a club in Melbourne.

But Queensland clubs would also be forced into quarantine if they either played in Melbourne, or came up against any team that had been in Melbourne in the preceding 14 days.

Cricket Australia is going through a financial crisis and the series against India is a big hope for it to generate some revenue.

Australia batting coach Graeme Hick became the biggest casualty as 40 individuals in the organisation have lost their jobs following Cricket Australia's recent announcement.

If the Boxing Day Test is shifted to Perth, the CA plans to hold it at the Optus Stadium, which can sit 60,000 supporters and is regarded as the best venue in Australia outside the MCG.

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