Sydney [Australia], December 29 (ANI): Cricket Australia on Tuesday confirmed that the Pink Test between Australia and India will remain at the Sydney Cricket Ground as scheduled.
"The decision to keep the New Year's Test at its traditional venue was made after several days of meetings that considered the impacts of the recent COVID-19 outbreak on the northern beaches of Sydney," Cricket Australia said in a statement.
Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia's Interim CEO, said that health advice from the NSW Government and collaboration with both the NSW and Queensland Governments had informed Tuesday's decision.
"Despite the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, I am delighted to say Cricket Australia remains on track to deliver the men's international series as scheduled. We have met regularly over the past week to assess the unfolding public health situation in Sydney and gauge its impact on border restrictions around the country. To date, we have been able to deliver a safe and successful summer thanks to our detailed biosecurity protocols and the amazing work of so many great people behind the scenes," Hockley said.
"To that end, we have made the decision to keep the New Year's Test at the SCG, which has a wonderful recent history of hosting the Pink Test and Jane McGrath Day on the third day of play. We are confident that both this match, and the fourth Test in Brisbane, will play out in a safe and successful manner and thus round out what has been a magnificent men's international program this summer. We are very grateful to the New South Wales and Queensland Governments for their willingness to work with us to deliver the series as planned in a manner that places the safety and wellbeing of the players, officials, staff and the wider community as its top priority," he added.
India leveled the four-match series on Tuesday after securing an eight-wicket win in the Boxing Day Test. The third Test between both teams will begin on January 7.
Hockley said Cricket Australia will put in place "appropriate biosecurity measures" and thanked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for their continued support.
"In response to the public health situation in NSW and the requirements of the Queensland Government, CA will put in place appropriate biosecurity measures and we thank all players, staff and broadcasters for their cooperation to play the matches safely. We especially thank the BCCI for their continued support of the original schedule, as our respective teams compete in the most enthralling series. It must not be forgotten that NSW Government and Sydney Cricket Ground provided exceptional support to bring India's squad safely into the country and stage the brilliant ODI and T20I series to start the men's international season," he said.
"I would also like to thank the Victorian Government and Melbourne Cricket Club for hosting a wonderful Boxing Day Test, not to mention their support over recent days in providing a strong contingency plan for the third Test, whilst we completed our due diligence. This whole summer has been a tremendous team effort and I want to thank our State and Territory Associations, the Australian Cricketers' Association, our broadcast partners and commercial partners for their ongoing support. I also want to thank our staff for their professionalism, dedication, resilience, adaptability and sheer hard work as they continue to deliver an outstanding summer of cricket despite the unprecedent challenges," Hockley added.
Glenn McGrath, co-founder and president of the McGrath Foundation, said: We are thrilled the Pink Test will still take place at the SCG. It is the home of the Pink Test and the spirit and support of the crowd at the SCG have become a huge part of the Pink Test atmosphere over the past 12 years. In the coming days, we will be announcing our new exciting digital initiative for this year's Pink Test, which will mean people can get involved, no matter whether they are in the stadium or watching from home."
Kerrie Mather, CEO Venues NSW, said: "The New Year's Test is our most important event of the year and the one that is most looked forward to by our loyal fans and members. This is just reward for their considerable sacrifices this year. The SCG will work closely with the NSW Government and Cricket Australia to maintain its impeccable record in protecting the safety of players, staff, fans and members." (ANI)