NSW and Canberra are set launch the international men’s summer with six white ball matches against India, saving the tourists from the prospect of facing a Queensland boarding school.
Cricket Australia is still awaiting final approval from the BCCI but reports in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Daily Telegraph claim the NSW government had given their approval for India to quarantine and train in Sydney in what is the first step in getting the $300m summer schedule off the ground.
Virat Kohli and co. were originally set to quarantine in Queensland but those north of the border reportedly pulled the plug on that on Sunday evening, unless the team was willing to potentially serve quarantine at a boarding school.
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That had left the whole tour in doubt before Cricket Australia scrambled to negotiate a better deal with the NSW government on Thursday afternoon.
The Queensland government made CA wait for around five to six weeks before making the call before eventually moving the goalposts.
Australian stars returning from the IPL in little over three weeks’ time, such as Steve Smith and David Warner, will also be allowed to train while in quarantine in Sydney, similar to conditions experienced by the Warriors in the NRL and the Argentine rugby union team ahead of the Tri Nations.
The new plan will see Kohli’s team begin their tour with a six-game white-ball run against Australia, beginning the day they come out of quarantine with Sydney hosting four of them and Canberra the other two.
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The first two ODIs are now set to be held at the SCG on November 27 and 29, with the third ODI and first of T20s in Canberra before returning to Sydney for the final two T20s on December 6 and 8.
The official release of the summer schedule is still waiting on a final green light from Indian officials but it is expected to also include a first day-night Test in Adelaide starting December 17, the traditional Boxing Day Test at the MCG and a delayed New Year’s Test in Sydney, likely to begin on January 7.