Cricket Australia (CA) on Wednesday released the details of the venues that will host the four-match Test series against India which will start on December 3 this year with the opening match in Brisbane.
The other three matches of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy will be played at the Adelaide Oval, Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Sydney Cricket Ground. While the second match in Adelaide from December 11 will be India’s first away Day-Night Test, the ones in Melbourne and Sydney will be the traditional Boxing Day and New Year Tests respectively.
The tour, which is estimated to have a $300 million price tag, will not feature a Test in Perth where India had lost during their last tour in 2018-19. The last tour did not have a Test at the Gabba in Brisbane.
Speculations that the tour was likely to be cancelled had been floating in the media reports ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. Also, with Australia imposing a six months ban on the entry of foreigners and the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year facing a serious existential crisis, the fate of India’s tour became more severe.
But all doubts and rumours have been put to rest by the Australian board with the announcement of the Test venues. Even though the tour has been framed as one of the most sought-after bilateral series of the year, it was not made clear by CA if fans will be allowed or it will be staged behind closed doors.
Earlier, news agency IANS had also quoted a Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official who had confirmed that the tour to Down Under would go as planned, even though the T20 World Cup there seems certain to be postponed or suspended.
“The series against Australia is definitely on unless we have a situation where travelling or playing becomes impossible due to the coronavirus pandemic. Things are definitely looking better and we believe that we will be in a position to make that trip post the IPL,” the official explained.