India might not have to tour Australia and play their matches in front of empty stands later this year after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday said sports stadiums capable of seating 40,000 people will be allowed to host crowds of up to 10,000 from next month, in further relaxation of coronavirus restrictions.
The four Tests of the much-anticipated series will be played at Gabba, Adelaide Oval, MCG and the SCG respectively starting December 3, Cricket Australia (CA) had said recently.
“For outdoor venues up to 40,000 spectator capacity, ticketed and seated events will be able to be held in front of a crowd of no more than 25 per cent of capacity under Step 3,” a statement from the Prime Minister said as per on the official website, pm.gov.au.
“For outdoor venues of more than 40,000 spectator capacity, further advice is being sought from the AHPPC, with arrangements to be settled by the states and territories on a venue by venue basis,” it added.
The announcement was made following a meeting of the National Cabinet, which comprises the Prime Minister and state and territory leaders.
Morrison was joined by Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Brendan Murphy who said that Australia’s response to COVID-19 was in a “good place”.
CA had also said they would keep open the possibility of hosting all four Tests involving India in one or two venues if the COVID-19 pandemic forces them to do so.
As far as the T20 World Cup in Australia is concerned, slated to take place Down Under from October 18 to November 15, the ICC in its board meeting on Wednesday decided to ‘wait and watch’ before deciding on the fate of the showpiece event.
Australia pacer Kane Richardson has also backed the international body for taking time to make the decision.
“It’s always nice to know what’s going to happen in the near future but taking as much time as we can to make a decision about this is important. There was no rush to make a decision,” Richardson was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“I think it’s the right move, I think Australia and New Zealand have been really good in terms of flattening the curve, so I think there’s some positivity there in terms of some cricket being on this summer with some kind of normality around it.
“The best decision is to take your time with this and make sure we’ve made the right decision,” he added.