Melbourne, Aug 30 (IANS) Cricket Australia (CA) announced on Monday that the state of Queensland will host the multi-format women’s series between Australia and India. The reason behind the shift in venue is due to the ongoing lockdowns and border closures in New South Wales and Victoria.
The seven-game series — three ODIs, one Test match and three T20s — had been scheduled to begin in Sydney on September 19. The series would then have moved to Melbourne and Perth before returning to Sydney. But COVID-19 enforced restrictions meant that the entire series had to be shifted to Queensland.
With the Allan Border Field unavailable due to renovation works, the Great Barrier Reef Arena in Mackay will host the ODIs on September 21, 24 and 26, two days later than the scheduled start of the series. The one-off pink-ball Test will be played at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast between September 30 and October 3 followed by three T20Is on October 7, 9 and 10.
The Indian cricket team along with 12 players of Australia’s squad from New South Wales and Victoria will be in quarantine for two weeks in Queensland. It will be a hard quarantine for all members, who will be restricted to their rooms with no training till September 13.
“We’ve been monitoring the situation across the country and it is clear that the current COVID challenges prevent the original schedule from proceeding as initially planned,” said CA CEO Nick Hockley.
“We are incredibly grateful to the Queensland Government for agreeing to quarantine the Australian and Indian players and enabling this important series to be played in Queensland. We are also delighted to be bringing our World Champion women’s team to Mackay and regional Queensland. Having had to postpone the series last summer due to the pandemic, we are looking forward to hosting an Indian team which boasts some of the best players in the world in this historic series featuring the first ever day-night Test match between the two sides.”
The multi-format series will be the first meeting between India and Australia since the 2020 T20 World Cup final on March 8. The series serves as crucial preparation for both teams ahead of next year’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand in March and April.