The Sydney Cricket Ground capacity for the third Test between Australia and India has been slashed to 25% because of a COVID-19 outbreak in New South Wales state.
While speculation rises about the fourth Test being moved from Brisbane to Sydney from January 15-19 because of the India squad’s concerns over going back into stricter hotel quarantine in Queensland state, Cricket Australia moved to reduce pressure on the third Test starting Thursday by making further reductions to the crowd size.
The SCG had already been reduced to 50% capacity because of restrictions in place for the coronavirus pandemic and Cricket Australia has halved that again — to a crowd of less than 10,000 daily — after consulting with the state government and health authorities.
“Reducing the capacity of the venue is crucial in achieving social distancing requirements,” Cricket Australia interim chief executive Nick Hockley said in a statement Monday outlining refunds and a ticket re-sale period. “To date, we have been able to deliver a safe and successful summer of cricket thanks to our detailed biosecurity protocols, the cooperation and support of public health officials and the hard work of so many people behind the scenes.”
The Australian Broadcasting Corp. said there was 188 active COVID-19 cases in the state.
The four-test series is level at 1-1 after India rallied from an opening loss in Adelaide to beat Australia by eight wickets in Melbourne last week. The teams were travelling to Sydney on Monday after reports all players and staff on both squads had returned negative tests for COVID-19. Travel restrictions are in place in cities and states across Australia. after reports all players and staff on both squads had returned negative tests for COVID-19.