Aus board discussing 3rd test against India in Sydney

Australia board discussing 3rd test against India in Sydney

A final decision on where the January 7-11 test will be held is unlikely to be made today

Groundsmen prepare the wicket at the MCG ahead of the second cricket Test match against India, in Melbourne on December 24, 2020. Credit: AFP Photo

Cricket Australia's board are meeting on Thursday to discuss if the team will play their third test against India in Sydney following a fresh coronavirus outbreak in New South Wales.

A spokesman, however, said a final decision on where the January 7-11 test will be held was unlikely to be made on Thursday.

The third test venue has been the subject of debate after a new community outbreak emerged in Sydney's northern beach suburbs late last week.

Australia coach Justin Langer, who is preparing his team for their second test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, acknowledged that it was not an easy decision or process for the board.

Also read: Australian team to be unchanged for Boxing Day India Test: Justin Langer

"I know there's a lot of work being done. I know that is incredibly complex," he told reporters on Thursday.

"It's not just a matter of saying, 'oh, that sounds like a good idea': there are broadcasters, so many stakeholders who are part of the decision.

"I'm sure (the CA board) will come up with the right decision for the game."

The number of new Covid-19 cases in Sydney rose to 100 on Thursday. Australia's most populous city has been virtually isolated from the rest of the country with state border closures or mandatory 14-day quarantine for Sydney arrivals.

Those restrictions have placed the viability of the third test in doubt with local media reporting that CA were considering a number of scenarios, including keeping the sides in Victoria and playing back-to-back tests in Melbourne.

The Sydney Morning Herald also mooted the possibility of the third and fourth tests both being played in Sydney, which could cause outrage in Queensland, which is scheduled to host the fourth test at Brisbane's Gabba ground from January 15.

CA interim chief executive Nick Hockley said at the weekend their preferred option was to keep the original schedule and there was still time before they were forced to make any decisions.