The NSW government has signed off on Cricket Australia’s quarantine proposal, with an updated schedule for India’s highly anticipated tour expected to be finalised as early as Friday.
CA had planned on Brisbane being the quarantine base for Virat Kohli’s side and Australia’s Indian Premier League stars, who will travel from the UAE to Australia next month on a charter flight after that tournament ends on November 10.
Queensland Health reviewed biosecurity plans for India’s touring party – that could number as many as 50 – during recent weeks then, on Monday, sought further clarification about the proposal.
CA, which already had worked closely with the NSW government with Sydney to stage the entire Rebel WBBL season from this Sunday, found the state’s authorities were ready and willing to accommodate the late change.
The NSW government, late on Thursday afternoon, formally approved CA’s biosecurity plan for India’s squad.
Updated fixtures, including warm-up games for the Test series, must now be ticked off by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) – a standard courtesy afforded all touring teams for international schedules – while the Department of Home Affairs will also need to approve the charter flight.
But the governing body is optimistic it will not encounter any issues that will cause any major delays with either organisation.
Kohli and teammates will be able to train while quarantining in Sydney, although at this stage it is unclear what size of groups will be permitted.
Australia and India will play three ODIs followed by three T20s across Sydney and Canberra venues before contesting a four-Test series, which is expected to start at the Adelaide Oval in mid-December.
The limited-overs matches will begin in late November, almost immediately after the quarantine period for the Indian squad and Australia’s star players returning from the IPL ends.
CA has made it clear it will turn its attention to finalising the KFC BBL fixtures after India’s tour program is locked in.
Test specialists like Cheteshwar Pujara and additional Indian support staff will travel from home to the UAE, linking up with players and officials who are taking part in the IPL.