Covid Could Alter Schedule Of Women’s Cricket Team’s Tour Of Australia

Sydney:  The Indian women’s cricket team’s mixed tour of Australia, which includes a one-off Test, three One-day Internationals and an equal number of T20I, could see a possible alteration due to the evolving Covid-19 situation and lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne besides some states imposing border restrictions.

The series is scheduled to commence on September 19 with the first ODI at North Sydney Oval before matches in Melbourne and Perth.

But even as both countries have announced their squads, Cricket Australia (CA) continues to negotiate with government authorities about the schedule for the upcoming matches, reported cricket.co.au on Wednesday.

India on Tuesday announced a combined squad for the series, which includes Railways medium-pacer Meghna Singh and Baroda left-handed batswoman Yastika Bhatia, both uncapped. Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad, who missed the recent tour of England due to knee injury, has also been included for all formats.

“The tour, details of which were announced in May, is currently scheduled to begin with an ODI at North Sydney Oval on September 19 before matches in Melbourne and Perth. But the ongoing Covid-19 lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne as well as state border closures make that unlikely,” wrote cricket.com.au.

It said that Cricket Australia is currently speaking with government authorities about how, where and when the seven games can be played.

Last week CA had said in a statement that, “Due to the current COVID challenges, Cricket Australia will continue to monitor the situation right across the country and will consider whether or not it needs to make any decisions regarding rescheduling or moving matches in due course.”

As per the Australian government’s Covid-19 protocol, all international arrivals need to quarantine for 14 days. Also Australian players from New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria too would need to quarantine before the series if the matches are scheduled for another state.

Last week, Australia skipper Meg Lanning was quoted as saying that “things change very quickly these days” but added that her team was prepared to move (from one state to another) at a short notice.

“Things change very quickly these days. To be honest, every player within the squad is ready to move around at any point, we know how quickly things can change. At this stage, we’re just planning on the schedule going ahead as it is and heading into a camp before that. But we also have got information that things could potentially change really quickly so we need to be ready for that. We’re just going with the flow a fair bit and reacting to what’s in front of us,” Lanning was quoted as saying.

(IANS)