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AUS vs IND: Cricket Australia prefers MCG as backup venue for third Test

The board contingency plan is to work with Victorian government to host the Australia vs India third Test in Melbourne if Sydney is rendered untenable to host the game over COVID-19 surge in the region.

India TV Sports Desk India TV Sports Desk
New Delhi Published on: December 24, 2020 11:21 IST
Melbourne Cricket Ground
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

File photo of Melbourne Cricket Ground.

With the rising cases of COVID-19 cases in the New South Wales, Cricket Australia is still hopeful that Sydney will be able to play host for the third Test from January 7. However, the board has decided to work on Melbourne Cricket Ground as Test's backup venue if SCG is rendered untenable to host the game.

Currently, both the teams are already in Melbourne to play the second Test, which begins on Boxing Day and is safe inside the bio-security bubble.
If the public health situation in NSW deteriorates in the coming days, the CA is willing to speak with the Victorian government to host the third Test at MCG followed by the fourth Test at GABBA.

"...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 Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground followed by the fourth one at the Gabba," CA said.

CA's interim CEO Nick Hockley has said the final call on the venue would be made during the Boxing Day Test.

Should Sydney be able retain the third Test, CA is also working closely with the Queensland government in order to secure the requisite exemptions that would enable players, match officials, broadcasters, media and staff to move from Sydney to Brisbane for the final Test of the series in case NSW still remains under lockdown at that time.

"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," he added.

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