Cricket Australia stick with Sydney Test plan despite Covid surge

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SYDNEY (AFP) – Cricket Australia Sunday said they were pressing ahead with plans to the hold the third Test against India in Sydney despite a growing coronavirus outbreak in the city.

A Covid-19 cluster has risen to 68 cases since it emerged on Thursday, with parts of Sydney’s north in a snap lockdown and restrictions placed on travel to several other states.

The Test is due be held from January 7 and CA interim chief Nick Hockley said they were watching the situation closely, with contingency plans in place.

“We have made no changes to our schedule and our preference remains to play the match at the Sydney Cricket Ground,” he said in a statement as speculation mounted that it would be moved.

“CA has prepared for the possibility of Covid-19 hotspots and state border closures over the course of the summer.

“The protocols that we have put in place have been effective in ensuring the safety and success of the men’s and women’s domestic and international programs to date.

“We will continue to work closely with all relevant parties to make the right decisions in the appropriate timeframes,” he added.

If the Sydney clash goes ahead, a problem could be getting the players to Brisbane for the final Test a week later after Queensland state announced Sunday it was effectively closing its border to Sydney.

The second Test starts in Melbourne on Boxing Day and back-to-back Tests there could be an option.

Otherwise, they could return to Adelaide, where Australia won the opening Test by eight wickets on Saturday, or host two in a row in Brisbane.

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