IND vs AUS: Nick Hockley, interim chief executive of Cricket Australia, has insisted that the Sydney Test is still more than two and a half weeks away and the board would not rush to take a decision on the match.
As Victoria and South Australia shut the door on Greater Sydney, state boundary closures on Sunday threatened to cause severe headaches for cricket officials.
After another 30 cases were found in the community on Saturday, a similar decision could still theoretically come from Queensland.
“The third 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,” Hockley said.
“We have made no changes to our schedule and our preference remains to play the match at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
“CA has prepared for the possibility of COVID-19 hotspots and state border closures over the course of the summer,” he added.
As it stands, the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) is scheduled to host the third Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test series, with the Gabba Brisbane Test to follow on January 15.
Hockley also pointed to the fact both Adelaide and Melbourne had at different times looked in doubt this year, but are now both clear.
“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 Test at the Adelaide Oval,” he said.
“We faced similar issues in relation to the Melbourne Cricket Ground playing host to the Boxing Day Test.
“We are now less than a week away from welcoming back Victorian crowds after a difficult year for the state.”
In Australia, however, media reports suggest that some alternatives are also being investigated.
One involves hosting Boxing Day and the New Years’ Test in Melbourne, while another will host the third and fourth tests in Brisbane.
In order to buy more time, Sydney and Brisbane could also switch their tests, while the SCG clash could also likely be moved to Manuka Oval in Canberra.
Victoria’s decision to close its border to greater Sydney was pre-empted by Cricket Australia on Saturday, transferring injured test players David Warner and Sean Abbott to Melbourne.