MCG ready to take first Test Match from Adelaide Oval
With South Australia entering six days of lockdown due to a growing COVID cluster, the MCG is ready to host the first day-night Test against India should Adelaide be ruled out.
The first Test of the four-match series is scheduled to begin at the Adelaide Oval on December 17, following six limited-overs games in Sydney and Canberra, however if the situation worsens, the game may be forced to relocate elsewhere.
The MCG will host the Boxing Day Test on December 26 and has said it will be ready to host the first match also if required to, meaning it would host the first two games of the series, before heading to Sydney and Brisbane.
While the Melbourne Cricket Ground hasn’t yet been officially put on standby by Cricket Australia, MCC chief Stuart Fox said his venue will be ready to stage the series opener if asked.
Cricket Australia declared it is monitoring the situation but remains committed to hosting the match at Adelaide Oval.
South Australia Premier Steven Marshall said on Tuesday he was "hopeful the cricket will go ahead" but added that he is yet to speak with anybody at CA regarding the issue.
The series opener will be one of the most anticipated, being superstar Virat Kohli's only Test Match in Australia before returning to India for the birth of his child.
Both Test squads will already be in Sydney because of the limited-overs series and tour games against Australia A, making the SCG and Manuka Oval other obvious options for a relocated game.
Perth's Optus Stadium remains out of the race due to Western Australia's strict border controls. The State won't host any international cricket during the upcoming summer.
The NSW-Victoria border is set to open next week, meaning there should be few logistical issues if broadcasters and officials are asked to relocate to Melbourne after the white-ball action.
At one point, the MCG was at risk of losing its Boxing Day Test, with Adelaide Oval putting up its hand to host the iconic match, but the Melbourne venue has since secured the fixture and the ability to fill the ground to 25% of its 100,000 capacity.
The MCG hasn’t hosted a sporting event since early July due to Coronavirus and its wicket was set to be tested on Tuesday by Victoria players, but that hit was cancelled because the squad had returned from the Sheffield Shield hub in Adelaide.