The state border closure on Sunday threatens to cause serious headaches for cricket officials as Queensland, Victoria and South Australia close their gates to the Sydney metropolitan area. How will this affect the third Test match between Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) in January 2021?
In the current circumstances, there is a possibility that Queensland State will close its border with South Australia, which may mean that players and broadcasting teams will no longer be able to travel from Sydney to Brisbane for the third and fourth Tests. Several alternatives have been weighed, including swapping the first and second Tests, which begin at the Gabba on the 15th of January, to avoid the problem of the trip between Sydney and Brisbane. That includes swapping the second and third Tests in Sydney for the one in Brisbane, with the first due to start on the 14th of January.
Another option is to host the second and third Tests in Melbourne and skip Sydney altogether before the fourth Test is played at the Gabba. It is also possible that the SCG clash will be moved to Manuka Oval in Canberra, or Sydney and Brisbane swap Tests to allow more time for the move to Canberra. Another option would be to play the second and third Tests in Melbourne, with Sydney skipping the third Test in Brisbane entirely and skipping the first and fourth Tests altogether before the fifth and sixth Tests are played at Sydney’s Sydney Cricket Ground. Sydney and Brisbane can also be switched to Brisbane for their Test, which will buy them more time and move the SCGs to either Melbourne or Brisbane.
Only time will tell what is in store for Test cricket in 2021. For now, the third Test between Australia and India will continue to take place at the SCG on the 7th of January as originally planned.