Covid chaos hits cricket fixture

Meg Lanning and Australia will play India in Queensland. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Australian and Indian players will complete 14 days hard in quarantine in Brisbane and the series between the women’s teams will begin in Mackay after all seven matches were moved to Queensland.

Games scheduled for Sydney and Melbourne, plus the Test match in Perth, will all be played at first in Mackay then Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast as the first moves in the ever-evolving summer schedule jigsaw.

Twelve Australian players based in NSW and Victoria, as well as the Indian team, will begin a two-week quarantine period in Brisbane on Monday, with the remainder of the Australian squad to assemble closer to the start of the series.

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It will be a hard quarantine for all of those players, who will be restricted to their rooms and unable to train. They will be released on September 13, eight days before the opening match on September 21.

Cricket Australia was forced to make the shifts because of challenges posed by state border restrictions and the Covid pandemic that could yet hit the domestic season, including the Sheffield Shield and Big Bash.

The three one-day internationals will start in Mackay with the day-night Test and three T20 internationals to be played at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast.

“We’ve been really good at quarantining, we did it really well in New Zealand and got some great wraps for the way we embraced it,” Australian coach Matthew Mott said.

“It’s going to be tough for those players, and particularly leading into a Big Bash straight after.

Australia is on a world record winning streak. Picture: AAP Image/Scott Barbour
Australia is on a world record winning streak. Picture: AAP Image/Scott Barbour

“Looking after them mentally and physically is going to be really important, it’s a congested schedule.

“That player freshness, keeping them up and about will be really crucial.”

The Australian team is on a world record 24-game ODI winning streak, and the opening match of the series will be the first time the teams have met since the T20 World Cup at the MCG in 2019.

The ongoing border closures also mean the start of the men’s domestic season, which is scheduled to begin in Melbourne on September 11 with the one-day cup, will be delayed.

The six state teams had been scheduled to play six games in six days between September 11 and 16 in either Melbourne or Perth before the Marsh Sheffield Shield season begins on September 28.

An announcement is expected in the coming days about changes to the men’s domestic schedule.

ODI series v India
September 21: Great Barrier Reef Arena, Mackay (Day)
September 24: Great Barrier Reef Arena, Mackay (Day-Night)
September 26: Great Barrier Reef Arena, Mackay (Day)
Test v India
September 30 – October 3: Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast (Day-Night)

T20I series v India
October 7: Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast (Night)
October 9: Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast (Night)
October 10: Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast (Night)

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