Cricket Australia (CA) CEO Nick Hockley has confirmed on Tuesday that first test of the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy between Australia and India will be played in Adelaide as scheduled.
“You are aware that there was a small, contained cluster of Covid cases last week. We have been working very closely with the South Australian government and at this stage we have been given assurances that it has been contained,” Hockley said in response to a question by IANS during an interaction with Indian media.
“The lockdown that they were under finished last Saturday. So at this stage all assistance go for the Adelaide Test. We are confident that it will go ahead as scheduled,” he added.
There had been doubts over the first Test – a pink-ball fixture – as a sudden coronavirus outbreak in South Australia led to speculations that the December 17-21 fixture might be moved elsewhere or played as the last Test of the four-match series.
But Hockley said that the match is on schedule.
“We have been lucky that the cases have been very low in Australia. The community transmission has been limited. We worked very hard with the health authorities and with each host city in Australia and worked together the best possible conditions that includes over the last number of days of quarantine, full training, centre-wicket practice, outdoor gym for both India and the Australian players returning from IPL,” said the Cricket Australia chief executive.
“Obviously, the safety of both participants in the community is our absolute number one priority. But we are working closely with the BCCI to make sure that we are providing absolutely the best possible conditions for both training and playing and also accommodation throughout the course of the tour,” he added.
India’s tour of Australia will kick off with the ODI series from November 27. It will be followed by the three-match T20I series from December 4 before the Virat Kohli-led team begins the title defence of the Border-Gavaskar trophy with the pink-ball Test in Adelaide from December 17.
The first Test at Adelaide will be India’s first day-nigt Test outside home soil. It will also be skipper Virat Kohli’s only appearance in all-whites in Australia this time as he would return to India on a paternity leave after the opener.
Kohli had already informed the BCCI about his wish to return to India to unite with his wife Anushka Sharma. They are expecting their first child in January next year.
The day-night Test will be followed by Tests at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (December 26), the Sydney Cricket Ground (January 7) and the Gabba (January 15).