Cricket Australia Gives Updates on New Years Test: ‘We Are Not Panicking’ Says Hockley
Cricket is one of the successful sports that made a return this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Major leagues like the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Big Bash League (BBL) were able to still take place this year and it is all thanks to bio-secure bubbles that other sports leagues are also implementing to push through with their seasons.
Sports may not be the answer or solution to the ongoing pandemic. However, many believe that the return of sports could help uplift the spirits of many during this trying time. True enough, people are still happy that they have something to look forward to even if they are safe at home due to lockdowns and quarantine implementations.
Cricket fans can watch their favorite squads in action and they can also wager on the matches as an additional way to entertain themselves. Cricket betting sites in India: 10CRIC, Betway, LeoVegas, and many more are now getting sports wagers from fans all over and this just shows how sports somehow keep people looking forward to something.
It is still looking like the rest of the upcoming cricket matches will take place in bubbles especially in Australia. There has been a growing outbreak in Sydney’s northern beaches and Cricket Australia (CA) is now monitoring the situation.
Will that outbreak affect the upcoming matches? Well, CA is confident that the biosecurity protocols will ensure that the Test series will be completed in Brisbane. This is so even if Queensland will decide to shut its border to Sydney.
CA is in close contact with the authorities and the Melbourne Cricket Club to ensure that a pitch is ready for the upcoming Tests scheduled if ever Sydney’s outbreak will grow further. CA is adamant that they will not make any binding decisions abruptly. They are now ensuring that they maintain hub protocols for the India series and the on-going BBL.
Cricket Australia’s interim chief executive, Nick Hockley, recently talked to SEN Radio about the situation in the country. He said, "There's been lots of discussion and meetings of our medical experts, but this is the reason why throughout the summer we've had our players in bubbles in the hub.
"We're monitoring the situation; we're not panicking at all, staying calm. Adelaide, a few weeks ago we had that pizza-shop outbreak and through that process, we worked very calmly to get the players in Adelaide on a charter plane, out of Adelaide within 24 hours and that saved the summer.
"We've got the Sydney Test and the BBL in NSW after that, so the fact we're here in Adelaide, we've got the next Test in Melbourne, it's watch, wait and see, and I think the governments around the country have handled the pandemic so well, so we'll watch, learn and stay in touch."
He was asked if the SCG Test is now in doubt because of what’s happening. He said that he doesn’t think so and that it is the very reason why they have the hubs in place. He further explained It's been interesting as we've worked through to almost zero community transmission, we've had lots of questions about do we need the hubs. Over recent weeks they've not been about protecting people against coronavirus as much as getting tangled up. We knew there were going to be cases pop up, so not getting caught up in this web of people having to go into isolation.
"Whether it's the WBBL players, the BBL players, the BCCI, our own Australia squads, they have been fantastic in dealing with all the protocols. Our medical experts have been working around the clock, we're in very good communication with health authorities around the country. It's one of the things we've had to navigate with getting cricket up safely."
Hockley also explained that necessary actions will be taken on a case-by-case basis should any borders are announced to be closed. He said, "The fact all our players and support staff are in these hubs, we've got a very clear set of protocols. They are business continuity measures to make sure if there are situations and restrictions around borders that we can give ourselves the best chance to move around safely.
"If the game can be played safely [in Sydney] then we'll play it there. That's our starting point, so it's working with the health authorities to ascertain that. We started out thinking about how to play the full series as safely as possible, and we'll take the same approach over the coming days and weeks. We've got contingency plans around a whole range of different options, and we've had to be agile all the way through. We were encouraged that it was 17 cases yesterday and ten today, and we'll see how that plays out over the next 72 hours."