The third Test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy between India and Australia will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground starting January 7, 2021, with Cricket Australia officials convinced that the Covid-19 situation in the city of Sydney had relented enough to give the venue the green light.
A severe outbreak of Covid-19 cases in the Sydney along with the stringent restrictions it had placed had put CA officials in two minds as to whether SCG was safe and accessible enough to continue as the venue of the third Test, but the situation seems to have gotten under control.
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“Despite the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, I am delighted to say Cricket Australia remains on track to deliver the men’s international series as scheduled,” Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia’s Interim CEO said.
“We have met regularly over the past week to assess the unfolding public health situation in Sydney and gauge its impact on border restrictions around the country. To date, we have been able to deliver a safe and successful summer thanks to our detailed biosecurity protocols and the amazing work of so many great people behind the scenes.”
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As per a report in Cricket Australia, Hockley added that what made the decision possible was a set of health advice from the New South Wales government and collaboration with both NSW and Queensland Governments. Hockey also informed that should there be a lockdown put in place after the Test, CA might require special exemptions that would allow match-related individuals to travel to Brisbane, which will host the fourth and final Test of the series.
“To that end, we have made the decision to keep the New Year’s Test at the SCG, which has a wonderful recent history of hosting the Pink Test and Jane McGrath Day on the third day of play. We are confident that both this match, and the fourth Test in Brisbane, will play out in a safe and successful manner and thus round out what has been a magnificent men’s international program this summer,” Hockey added.
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“We are very grateful to the Queensland Government for their willingness to work with us to deliver the series as planned in a manner that places the safety and well-being of the players, officials, staff and the wider community as its top priority. In response to the public health situation in NSW and the requirements of the Queensland Government, CA will put in place appropriate biosecurity measures and we thank all players, staff and broadcasters for their cooperation to play the matches safely.”
The Sydney Cricket Ground, over the past few years has hosted the ‘Pink Test’ of the new year, which acts as a fundraiser for the McGrath foundation, a charity organisation to support the fight against breast cancer set up by former Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath, who lost his wife Jane to the disease. Last summer marked the 12th Pink Test at the SCG, which raised more than $1.2 million. McGrath expressed happiness that Sydney has been able to hold on to the Test match.
“We are thrilled the Vodafone Pink Test will still take place at the SCG. It is the home of the Pink Test and the spirit and support of the crowd at the SCG have become a huge part of the Pink Test atmosphere over the past 12 years,” McGrath said in a statement.
“In the coming days, we will be announcing our new exciting digital initiative for this year’s Pink Test, which will mean people can get involved, no matter whether they are in the stadium or watching from home.”