Cricket Australia has apparently outrightly said that it would not be shifting the first Ashes Test from Brisbane to Sydney in view of the visiting team's strict quarantine protocols in place in Queensland. While the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had earlier confirmed that they will be travelling for the Ashes series to Australia subject to certain conditions, they would not be allowed to surpass all the prevailing restrictions.
Notably, the Joe Root-led England side are set to fly to Brisbane in November to prepare for the first Test of the Ashes series which is scheduled to begin on December 8. However, it is not going to be easy at all for the Englishmen who will have to undergo stringent quarantine measures, including a mandatory 14-day isolated stay in a hotel room.
New South Wales set to be first Australian state to allow fully vaccinated travellers
While the ECB were mulling if New South Wales could be named the venue for the first of the five-match series as the state will become the first Australian state to allow fully vaccinated travellers from November, moreover, those who test negative for COVID-19 will not have to undergo any quarantine at all.
While the plan from the England board was backed by some of the English cricketers, it has now come to the fore that Cricket Australia are not at all willing to incorporate this strategy. A report carried by Daily Mail suggests that Cricket Australia is apprehensive of the consequence that such a decision might have on the remaining Test matches.
Uncertainty regarding the venue for final Test
As the players of the touring side would not have undergone any quarantine at all, the other states' strict protocols could be a big problem for them and might even disrupt the series. This means that the initially announced schedule remains likely to remain unchanged with Brisbane hosting the series opener followed by Test matches in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.
The final Test match, which is currently slated to be held in Peth, is a bit doubtful as Western Australia is rigid with its COVID-19 quarantine protocols. In case, the final Test match is moved out of Perth, then it could yet again be Sydney for the final match of the series. However, nothing concrete has materialized.
For now, both teams are focusing on the ICC Men's T20 World Cup being played across Oman and UAE. Both the teams are drawn in the same group and are set to clash on October 30 at the Dubai International Stadium.