Cricket Australia delays call on Boxing Day Test match against India amid Victoria spike

Scott BaileyThe West Australian
VideoStarc says speculation over this Summer's Indian test series is pointless.

Cricket Australia remains “full-steam ahead” in plans for Boxing Day at the MCG and says it is prepared to wait “months” before making a call on moving the iconic Test.

The December 26 Test against India is under threat, given the current COVID-19 spike in Melbourne.

Sydney and Adelaide are both believed to have shown a willingness to host if Melbourne can’t, while Perth have staged attempts to claim the event in recent years.

Perth’s Optus Stadium is currently operating at around 50 per cent capacity with 25,000 fans attending AFL matches, while 10,000 are allowed in Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide.

Melbourne is yet welcome crowds since the AFL’s shutdown in March.

But interim Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley said every chance would be given to Melbourne to host Boxing Day for the 30th straight year.

“Certainly at this stage we are planning full-steam ahead,” Hockley said.

“It’s one of the most iconic events on the Australian sporting calendar.

“As long as circumstances allow, we will be doing everything we can to play the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.”

Asked what circumstances would prove crucial, Hockley admitted the ability to host big crowds was chief.

General view of the MCG loking towards the members stand, during the Boxing Day Test.
Camera IconGeneral view of the MCG loking towards the members stand, during the Boxing Day Test. Credit: Tony Feder/Getty Images

“It comes down to if we can get a crowd at the MCG, we’ll play at the MCG,” he said.

“There’s a long way to run, over four-and-half months, ... it’s very premature to be talking about this.

“We need to be agile, there’s a few moving parts - quarantine arrangements, we need to think about and as we’ve seen it’s changing very, very quickly.

“We are a number of months off having to make any change to the published schedule in respect to Boxing Day.”

Meanwhile, Hockley said he expected confirmation of Australia’s limited overs tour of England for next month to come within weeks.

Plans are likely to include the team being isolated on one floor of their accommodation when not training or playing, with Old Trafford and Southampton having hotels on sight.

“They (England) have been very generous in sharing all their plans, we are learning a huge amount from them ahead of the Australian summer,” Hockley said.

“We are very committed to the England tour to go ahead.

“There is a bit more work to be done around travel exemptions, but we’re committed to making that tour happen.”

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