The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) boss Tony Shepherd has assured everyone that Sydney is safe to host the third Test match between India and Australia. This assurance comes amid concerns that it could lead to a spike in cases of COVID-19 in the state. Plans are in place to allow supporters to fill up to 50% of the venue's capacity. But despite the concerns, the New South Wales chairman has backed the plans.
"We wouldn't let a crowd in if we thought it was dangerous. We've got strict protocols in place, we check on where people come from, we get the QR codes, we have social distancing, we have a lot of security, people can't mix in the stadium and have to stay in their part of the stands. We think we've got a very safe stadium and we wouldn't open it if we didn't think it wasn't. We wouldn't want to have that on our heads"
Tony Shepherd said that the strict protocols in place will help prevent the spread of the virus, even if a daily crowd of almost 20,000 spectators attend the India vs Australia Test match. He added that New South Wales' excellent contact tracing, high level of testing and security personnel will ensure that COVID-19 cannot be spread.
"Provided people follow the protocols .... it will work, particularly in NSW with our excellent contact tracing and very, very high level of testing and quick turnaround of testing. If we all follow the rules, we'll be safe."
Glenn McGrath hopeful India v Australia Test won't increase COVID-19 cases
Former Australia fast-bowler Glenn McGrath said his fingers are crossed that the Test match can go ahead with the crowd. The SCG will once again serve as the venue for the annual Pink Test, and a major fundraiser for the McGrath Foundation is likely to be held on Day Three of the match.
"That's where it all started, that's where everything has been. It's still my favourite ground in the world. At the end of the day with COVID and the way this last year has been, we were trying to prepare for any outcome. I know they've confirmed it but hopefully cases don't spike again."
India and Australia are currently tied at 1-1 in the Border-Gavaskar series, and the tourists could retain the trophy with a win at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the Third Test.Published 01 Jan 2021, 08:10 IST