SYDNEY, (Reuters) – Cricket Australia is monitoring a COVID-19 outbreak in Sydney but does not consider the third test against India to be under threat, said interim chief executive Nick Hockley yesterday.
Yesterday’s Australian provinces and territories began enforcing border restrictions after 28 cases of the virus were detected from a cluster on Sydney’s northern beaches. The third test at Sydney Cricket Ground is due to start on January 7 but Hockley said it was too early to start to panic given how quickly the situation had changed in various cities across the country this year.
“We are monitoring the situation. We don’t panic at all, stay calm, ”he told SEN Radio in Adelaide, where the first test is being played.
“A few weeks ago we had a (case) (in Adelaide) and through that process we worked very carefully to get the players in on a charter plane.”
“We have the next test in Melbourne … I think the governments across the country have handled the pandemic so well, so we’ll watch, learn and stay in touch.”
Hockley said CA’s policy of keeping players in biosecurity hubs, even when community transmission of the virus was almost eliminated in Australia, should still keep the sport in good shape whatever happens with the Sydney outbreak .
“It’s been interesting because we’ve worked through almost no community transfer, we’ve had lots of questions about whether we need the hubs,” he added.
“In recent weeks, they have not been so concerned with protecting people against coronavirus. We knew that cases would emerge, so not to get caught up in this web of people having to go into solitude. ”
Reversing the situation a few months ago when Victoria was under strict lockdown and Sydney almost free of COVID-19, Melbourne Cricket Club chief executive Stuart Fox said the third test could be played at the same venue with the second.
“We’re here to support Cricket Australia if needed (but) we hope that doesn’t happen to Sydney,” he told The Age newspaper.
“For us, all the focus is on the Westminster Day test.”