COVID-19 outbreak hits Australia-India Test series, commentators sent home
A fresh wave of COVID-19 cases has hit Australia ahead of Christmas. The outbreak has also impacted the first Test between Australia and India in Adelaide. Notably, the broadcasters and media are taking all the relevant precautions to ensure the safety of staff. As per reports, Fox Sports and Channel 7 have sent home key personnel and commentators to minimize the risk.
Fox Cricket's Brett Lee flew home to Sydney on Friday, while both networks have advised a chunk of staff to undergo COVID-19 testing. At present, the Australian legend, who resides on Sydney's northern beaches, has not shown any symptoms. Notably, he has spent considerable time away from his family this year and does not want to spend Christmas without them.
Fox Sports' executive director, Steve Crawley, said Lee was comfortable with the decision to fly home. "We had a good talk last night. He went back this morning. Everyone is being responsible and he totally understood that," Crawley said. "We have had to send out a number of staff to get them tested. Brett is in the air now, he's gone back this morning."
The states and territories in Australia are currently revising their border restrictions as the outbreak on northern beaches continues to grow. As of now, they have recorded 28 cases. This could have an impact on the Australia-India Test series, if borders get closed in the upcoming days. Notably, the third of the four-Test series is scheduled to be played in Sydney from January 7-11.
Australian opener David Warner is currently in Sydney to recover from the groin injury that ruled him out of the first Test. According to reports, he may be flown to Melbourne early to avoid any potential further border restrictions to Victoria.
Cricket Australia's interim chief executive, Nick Hockley, believes the SCG Test would go on as planned. "I don't think so - this is the very reason why we have the hubs in place," he said. "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."