India Tests could happen at one or two venues: Cricket Australia chief

Kevin Roberts revealed that the four India Tests could be limited to one or two venues if the State borders are still not completely open six months down the line.

India and Australia will play at four Test venues - the Gabba, Adelaide Oval, the SCG and MCG.   -  getty images

Cricket Australia's (CA) chief executive Kevin Roberts on Friday sounded optimistic about India's tour of Australia going ahead as per schedule while maintaining that all home fixtures for the 2020-21 season are subject to change as the COVID-19 pandemic remains a fluid situation.

"A battle between the top two Test teams in the world is always very exciting. It'll be a closely fought series ... so in the event, we can deliver the season as we would hope, then there's a whole lot for fans to look forward to," Roberts said.

India’s tour of Australia includes a T20I series before the T20 World Cup, and Test and ODI series to be played after the global event.

Jurisdictional approval

Virat Kohli's men will play at four Test venues - the Gabba, Adelaide Oval, the SCG and MCG.

Roberts though revealed that the series could very well be limited to one or two grounds if the State borders are still not completely open six months down the line.

"We've four Indian Tests scheduled to be played across four different states. It assumes that state borders are open to domestic travel... it's possible that when the time comes, circumstances dictate that we can only play at one or two venues. We have to plan for all those scenarios," he said.

READ: Cricket Australia releases dates for India series, indicates T20 World Cup on schedule

Biosecurity measures, to ensure international teams can play in Australia this summer, include flying the squads into Australia on chartered flights and creating biosecure bubbles at certain venues.

Five-match Test series

Kevin Roberts revealed the challenges of hosting a series under a safe environment amid the coronavirus pandemic.   -  ap

 

"This is by no means an ordinary season in terms of the financial impact on Australian cricket. Putting up a biosecure environment could cost us upwards of 10 million $... the international season doesn't start anytime soon, so it's a little too early to comment but all options are on the table."

Meanwhile, there were reports that Cricket Australia was mulling five India Tests behind closed doors at the end of the year. While that didn't happen, the possibility of a five-match Test series in the future hasn't been ruled out.

"Both India and ourselves have suggested that it would be great to elevate the series to five test games in the future. In spirit, we are looking to do that. But there are a lot of complexities in the FTP that need to be looked into as well," Roberts said.

Influencing factor

The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board on Thursday deferred all major decisions, including the fate of the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year, meaning the BCCI might still have a window to slot the IPL later this year.

ALSO READ: ICC Board defers decision on T20 World Cup till June 10

Roberts, however, reiterated that the fate of the T20 World Cup will be the 'key influencing factor'.

"We would like all major tournaments to go ahead in some shape or form. The question of the IPL will no doubt be addressed once a decision is taken around the T20 World Cup.

"There are a lot of variables to be considered here. We are working closely with the BCCI in the interest of cricket, not only our countries but internationally as well."

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