Sydney [Australia], December 24 (ANI): In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak on Sydney's northern beaches, Cricket Australia's interim CEO Nick Hockley has said that they have "strong contingency plans in place" if the situation in Sydney deteriorates while reiterating that everyone's wellbeing is their "number one priority".
Cricket Australia (CA), in a statement on Thursday, reaffirmed its commitment to giving it the best chance to play the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground and the fourth Test at the Gabba as per the original schedule.
CA also said that it has strong biosecurity protocols in place and is working constructively with the Queensland Government to secure the requisite exemptions to enable players, match officials, broadcasters, media and staff to move from Sydney to Brisbane following the third Test should border restrictions remain in place at that time.
"Should the public health situation in NSW render playing in Sydney untenable, CA's preferred contingency plan is to work with the Victorian Government to play the third Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground followed by the fourth Test at the Gabba," CA said.
Hockley said a final decision on the third Test venue would be made during the Boxing Day Test.
"We have always maintained that scheduling a full summer of cricket during a global pandemic would require agility, problem-solving and teamwork like never before. We continue to place the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved as our number one priority. The record testing numbers and the drop in new community transmissions in NSW have provided cause for optimism, however if the situation in Sydney deteriorates, we have strong contingency plans in place," Hockley said in a statement.
"We are working constructively with the Queensland Government and have been encouraged by the positive nature of discussions with them. We thank the Queensland Government for their support. CA has well-established biosecurity protocols in place and through safe completion of the season so far - which has included the women's internationals in Brisbane, Marsh Sheffield Shield in Adelaide, rebel WBBL in Sydney and the men's ODIs and T20s in Sydney and Canberra - has developed a strong track record of safe and responsible return to sport," he added.
The Boxing Day Test between India and Australia will begin on December 26 in Melbourne. (ANI)