MCG offers to host 1st Ind-Aus Test if Adelaide fails to do so due to Covid

India's captain Virat Kohli, center, and Indian team members circle as they prepare to take to the field during play on day four of the third cricket test between India and Australia in Melbourne, Australia | File photo: PTI

Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) chief Stuart Fox has offered to host the first Test if Adelaide fails to do so due to the coronavirus outbreak in South Australia, the state where the match venue is located. The match starts on December 17.

"If the game had to be moved, the MCC would be ready to mobilise and the MCG would be available," Fox told The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.

MCG is scheduled to host the Boxing Day second Test from December 26.

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Sydney Cricket Ground had also offered to help, although SCG chairman Tony Shepherd did not expect the need to arise.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said he is hopeful the first Test will take place at the Adelaide Oval, but he did not guarantee it.

"We are still hopeful that the cricket will go ahead. What we are doing in South Australia is putting all those people we think pose the biggest risk, those people that have come into contact with someone who is infectious, we have put them into quarantine as quickly as possible," Marshall was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday.

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Earlier on Tuesday, as an emergent measure, several members of the Australian Test squad were air-lifted from South Australia to New South Wales.

The players, airlifted by Cricket Australia (CA) in a chartered flight, include Test players Tim Paine, who is the captain, Marnus Labuschagne, Matthew Wade and Travis Head, besides those part of Australia 'A' team and those who will compete in the T20 Big Bash League (BBL) starting next month.

South Australia had on Sunday announced a new Covid-19 cluster, as the number of cases quickly grew to 17 on Monday. The numbers, however, fell to five on Tuesday.

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