India vs Australia: Sydney Test to go ahead as planned, MCG on stand by

"We are currently all systems go for the New Year's Test to go ahead in Sydney as planned followed by the fourth Test in Brisbane," said Cricket Australia interim CEO Nick Hockley on Thursday.

A view of the Sydney Cricket Ground   -  Getty Images

Cricket Australia interim CEO Nick Hockley on Thursday said that the New Year's Test between India and Australia would be held in Sydney as planned while confirming that the MCG is on standby to host the third Test.

"We are currently all systems go for the New Year's Test to go ahead in Sydney as planned followed by the fourth Test in Brisbane," said Hockley during a virtual media interaction.

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"The record testing numbers and the drop in new community transmissions in NSW have provided cause for optimism, however, if the situation worsens in Sydney, one of the contingencies is to play the New Year's Test in Melbourne and then go straight to Brisbane." A final decision on the venue for the third Test will be made by the end of the Boxing Day Test.

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A Covid-19 outbreak in Sydney's northern beaches has prompted CA officials to make contingency plans, which include hosting two back-to-back Tests in Melbourne. Hockley stated that CA was "working constructively" with the Queensland Government to secure the necessary travel exemptions to allow key personnel to travel into the state when required.

Melbourne will host the Boxing Day Test between India and Australia fro December 26. The MCG has not hosted a New Year Test since 1990 when Australia beat Pakistan by 92 runs. Hockley also pointed out that the possibility of Sydney hosting two back-to-back Tests is remote since "there's a relatively short gap between the third and the fourth Tests. So from the pitch perspective, playing consecutive Tests in Sydney is highly problematic."

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