Covid-19 situation might force a change in schedule for India's tour of Australia: CA chief Kevin Roberts

Covid-19 situation might force a change in schedule for India's tour of Australia: CA chief Kevin Roberts

Cricket Australia (CA) has not ruled out the likelihood of the COVID-19 pandemic forcing a change within the schedule for India's tour of the country with the board still keeping the door open for hosting four Tests in "as little together venue".

CA on Thursday announced that India will play the Tests at Brisbane (December 3-7), Adelaide (December 11-15), Melbourne (December 26-30) and Sydney (January 3-7) respectively.

However, CA chief executive Kevin Roberts said the schedule could change counting on the travel restrictions thanks to the health crisis.

"That (schedule) assumes that state borders are hospitable domestic travel. it's going to be that circumstances dictate that when the time comes maybe we will only use one or two venues, we actually do not know any of that yet," he told reporters on Friday.

"There may be a lot of variables supported whether we've four venues in four states or as little together venue in one state. There are endless scenarios and possibilities..."

Soon after the schedule announcement, Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) chief Christina Matthews had lashed out at CA for selecting Brisbane over Perth together of the venues for the high-profile Test series.

Why Perth was overlooked for India Tests? Roberts answers

Roberts said that the Gabba didn't get a Test during India's tour of Australia two years ago and to strike a balance, Perth was overlooked this point around.

"If Perth received the India Test (this year) it might mean that Perth would have hosted two England Tests (for Ashes) and two India Tests over the eight-year cycle for a complete of 4 ... whereas Brisbane would have only hosted two. in order that would have created an imbalance over the cycle of the longer term Tours Programme," he said.

"And within the national interest and ensuring we take high-profile Test matches to cricket fans in Queensland, it had been a more well-balanced solution. Assuming, of course, that we could get full crowds live , that's when this schedule decided 

"The more balanced solution was to play the India Test in Brisbane, meaning over the eight-year cycle it might see Perth hosting three Tests against India and England and Brisbane also hosting three Tests against India and England."

Roberts also said that the country's cricket board will lose AUD 80 million if the T20 World Cup doesn't happen this year and warned of another round of cost-cutting measures to affect the impact of the coronavirus.

The administration has already furloughed about 80 percent of its staff and reduced grants to member states by 25 per cent though New South Wales and Queensland haven't agreed. The state associations were also forced to chop jobs within the previous couple of weeks.

With India agreeing to form the trip Down Under this year for a bilateral series starting October, worth AUD 300 million in revenue, things are looking up for Cricket Australia.

However, Roberts said CA was still in need of AUD 80 million.

"The likelihood of serious crowds is extremely slim - ordinarily that might deliver overflow 50 million revenue to CA," Roberts told reporters on Friday.