The New Year Test is traditionally held at the Sydney Cricket Ground from January 3 to January 7. It features the annual Jane McGrath day in which the entire stadium is decked in pink and funds are raised for breast cancer awareness. This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Sydney Test will be played on January 7. However, there is a threat to the New Year Test in Sydney this time. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the region is seeing a fresh outbreak of the coronavirus with as many as 21 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours. The Sydney coronavirus cluster before Christmas is a worrying situation as the number of active cases in the region is now nearing 100. On Sunday, there were a further 30 cases of community transmission as well.

The reports that are emerging now is that the New Year’s Test in Sydney might not happen and instead, Melbourne might host both the Boxing Day and New Year Test. The Sydney coronavirus situation has also created a border issue between New South Wales and Queensland, the venue of the fourth Test in Brisbane on January 15. According to the report by Nine, there is an alternative suggestion that Brisbane could host the New Year Test and that Sydney hosts the last game, which could give Sydney time to overcome the coronavirus cases.

Cricket Australia apparently held an emergency meeting on Sunday but they have reiterated that they are monitoring the situation and have not yet made plans to change the venues. “Cricket Australia has prepared for the possibility of COVID-19 hotspots and state border closures over the course of the summer and the protocols that we have put in place have been effective in ensuring the safety and success of the men’s and women’s domestic and international programs to date,” Cricket Australia interim CEO Nick Hockley said.

Similar to Adelaide

Just before the start of the Pink Ball Test between India and Australia in Adelaide, there was a similar outbreak in South Australia with as many as 30 cluster cases in Adelaide. In response, South Australia imposed a circuit breaker lockdown for six days and that helped stem the spread of the coronavirus.

India are currently trailing 0-1 in the four-Test series after they were bundled out for 36, the lowest-ever total for Team India in their 88-year history. The Indian cricket team will now be without Virat Kohli for the remainder of the series as he is on paternity leave and expecting the birth of his child in January 2021.

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