Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia’s CEO gave a final clarity on the venue for the fourth Test. On Monday he confirmed that The Brisbane Cricket Ground, commonly known at the Gabba, has been finalized as Team India has agreed to travel to Brisbane.
As per the original schedule, the Gabba was the fourth Test venue from the very start. But a pool of speculations rose because of the strict quarantine protocols that will have to be undertaken ahead of the match. However, teams will now play at the Gabba.
“We have been working closely with Queensland Health to ensure our strong biosecurity plans guarantee the fourth Test at The Gabba is played safely. Throughout the season, we have developed a strong track record for a safe and responsible return to the sport thanks to our well-established biosecurity protocols, the ongoing support from public health officials, and the incredibly hard work of so many people across Australian cricket,” said Hockley in an official release.
“I want to thank the Queensland Government for their cooperation and willingness to working closely with CA and the BCCI so we can deliver the fourth Test as planned, but more importantly delivering on a plan that places the safety and wellbeing of the players, match officials and the wider community as a top priority,” he added.
Acting on the advice of the Queensland Health and the Queensland Government, Cricket Australia and Stadiums Queensland are working together to ensure the safety of patrons attending the Brisbane Test on January 15, with a crowd capacity of 50 per cent at The Gabba.
Stirling Hinchliffe, Queensland Sports Minister, said Queenslanders were looking forward to Australia playing India in the fourth Test at The Gabba.
“The Gabba’s usually fast and bouncy pitch makes it a favourite with fans as Australia’s Test cricket fortress,” Hinchliffe said.
In the wake of new coronavirus strain and the rising cases, a three-day lockdown was announced. Queensland had earlier closed its border to Greater Sydney due to the Covid-19 outbreak which emerged before Christmas. As a result, both teams needed exemptions to travel to Brisbane, and it means they need to be in the form of quarantine while in the city.
BCCI gives a green signal
“The board decides what we do. Being the contracted players of the board, we just follow what the board says. I am sure they will definitely work things out in the best interest of their cricket team and the situation that is existent. We trust and believe in the decision that they will make and they have always made the best decisions in our interest,” Ashwin said during a virtual press conference on Sunday.
As per the earlier reports, Queensland’s Health Authorities made it clear that strict quarantine rules have to be followed by the Australian and Indian cricket team in Brisbane since they would be coming from a declared hotspot.
The fourth Test match of the Border-Gavaskar trophy is scheduled from January 15 to January 19.