After one spectator who attended the Boxing Day Test between India and Australia in Melbourne tested positive for the covid-19 virus, the authorities in Sydney have tightened their protocols for the third Test match at the SCG.
New South Wales Health Minister, Brad Hazzard on Wednesday (January 6) imposed stricter measures for the fans attending the third Test. The NSW health authorities have mandated the spectators to wear masks all the time during the game, with the exception while eating and drinking.
“I want to stress that Victoria announcing a new case that they don’t yet know the source of at the MCG is obviously influencing our thinking about what we should be doing to keep New South Wales safe,” Hazzard told a news conference.
“You must wear a mask. From the moment effectively you get into the transport to get there, and get into the queue at the front door of the SCG, and go to your seat, and sit in your seat, you must wear a mask. The only exception to that, if you’re eating or drinking,” he added.
At one stage earlier, the Sydney Cricket Ground was expected to host half of its capacity in the ground with 48,000 seating, however, with the spike in the covid cases in Sydney, now a crowd of 10,000 is allowed with social distancing.
Residents from certain parts of Sydney which has observed a sudden rise in the covid-19 cases are banned from attending the match. Fans from rural areas have been also banned in order to avoid the risk of them taking the virus back to areas so far unaffected.
“Again, the (health) orders that will be made today will impose a A$1,000 fine on any person who was in that location and who seeks to come to the SCG. I know that’s a tough – it’s a tough ask, but it’s absolutely necessary to keep New South Wales residents safe,” the NSW Health Minister further stated.
David Warner set to return to the Australia team
Australian captain, Tim Paine has confirmed that David Warner will return to the eleven in the third Test replacing Joe Burns, who has been dropped from the squad. The left-handed opener suffered a groin injury during the ODI series, and consequently missed the T20I series and the first two Tests against India.
While Warner is certain to slot in the opening position, Will Pucovski remains doubtful after recovering from the ninth concussion of his short career.
At this stage of the series, which stands evens, will Australia be willing to give a debut to the 22-year-old or continue with Matthew Wade at the top? Justin Langer will have to make a decision regarding their batting, which has been disappointing so far in the series