India-Australia Boxing Day Test in danger after Victoria reports sudden rise in COVID-19 cases
Virat Kohli and his troops are scheduled to play four Tests, starting December 3, in Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.
Updated - Jul 1, 2020 1:47 pm
A spike in coronavirus cases in Australia has put the much-awaited India-Australia Boxing Day Test in jeopardy. The COVID-19 positive cases in Victoria have increased in the past few days, prompting health officials in Queensland to close its borders with the rest of Australia in order to tackle the situation. Victoria has witnessed a total of 75 new cases and that has spread a wave of fear across the state.
The sudden rise comes just after Cricket Australia agreed to postpone their ODI series against Zimbabwe which was slated to take place in August. The Zimbabwean side was due to play the first match at an undecided venue in north Australia on August 9, with a further clash three days later and a final fixture in Townsville on August 15.
Cricket Australia (CA) said in a statement that the decision was mutually agreed and that they remained committed to playing the series on ‘alternative dates’. Major cricket boards including Cricket Australia have incurred major financial losses due to COVID-19 debacle.
To boost its dwindling finances, the series against India is touted to play a significant role. Virat Kohli and his troops are scheduled to play four Tests, starting December 3, in Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. If the situation in Victoria deteriorates further, the Australian board will have no choice but to shift the venue for the series.
Tim Paine had also expressed fears over Boxing Day Test
Former Australia skipper Mark Taylor had previously said that the match being moved remains a possibility as the MCG filled with only 10,000 or 20,000 people won’t look great for the iconic India-Australia Test.
According to Taylor, The Optus stadium, which can accommodate 60,000 supporters, can also be an alternate choice for the Test. Earlier this week, Australia’s Test skipper Tim Paine had also expressed fears that the Boxing Day Test could indeed be shifted from Melbourne.
“Could it move? Obviously, because if you look at what is happening across Australia by Christmas time the MCG may only be able to host 10,000 or 20,000 people which will not look great for an iconic test like Australia and India,” Taylor had told ‘Channel 9’.
“You move that to Optus stadium in Perth or even Adelaide Oval you will get full venues. Adelaide, in particular, loves seeing the Indians play. The India-Pakistan game in the World Cup sold out in 52 mins or something. Those venues especially Perth will be trying hard to get that game as it would look better with full crowds,” he had added.