India agree to tour Australia for a traditional four-Test series
The COVID-19 pandemic and the after-effects of the virus has got the cricketing world talking about its immediate future. There is no clarity on when international cricket would be back on its feet. In fact, there are reports and murmurs going around that the T20 World Cup which is supposed to be held in Australia later this year could be postponed as well.
However, amidst all the concern and tension in the cricketing globe, Cricket Australia (CA) and the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) have agreed to play a four-match Test series down under in the 2020-21 Australian summer. There were some reports that the entire Test series may be played in a bio-secure environment. But that idea seems to be scrapped. According to what TOI understands, the Australian board has given BCCI the assurance that the condition in Australia will be under control by the time this series gets underway. Hence, the bio-bubble was decided against and it is assumed that it will be safe to play in four different venues.
The Australian summer is likely to start with a one-off Test against Afghanistan at the WACA in Perth. The series against Virat Kohli and his men is scheduled to start at the Gabba in Brisbane on the 3rd of December. It will be followed by India’s first-ever day-night Test in Australia and Adelaide will play host to that which the Test match starting on December 11th. The Test series ends with the two traditional festive Test matches – Boxing Day Test at the MCG and the New Year’s Test at the SCG.
This is the likely schedule and according to a report in The Australian, it might be made official in a couple of days. However, all of this remains subject to government clearances and stabilizing of conditions with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic in both countries. Cancellation of this mega India Test series (or tour) could see CA lose about $300 million.