Vodafone Test Series v India
Gabba Test proceeds with reduced capacity, masks
Ticket details confirmed for reduced capacity at Gabba for the final Test, with India also confirming they will travel to Brisbane after SCG match
AAP & Cricket Network
11 January 2021, 10:23 AM AEST
The Queensland government has reduced the crowd capacity for the fourth and final Test at the Gabba to 50 per cent while making masks mandatory for any fans moving around the venue.
Brisbane's Vodafone Test will proceed as scheduled, after members of India's touring party informed Cricket Australia they would fly there on Tuesday.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has confirmed Brisbane's three-day lockdown, triggered after the UK variant of COVID19 had been detected in the city last week, would end at 6pm (local time) on Monday.
There were again no new local cases of the virus on Monday but the government has opted to put a cap of approximately 20,000 fans per day for the series finale.
"The Gabba will be filled to half the capacity and masks are mandatory for entering, leaving and moving around the stadium," Palaszczuk said.
"But if you are sitting there at your seat, you won't have to wear your mask because you are outside.
"Most people will be coming by public transport anyway, where you will have to wear your mask."
Given the reduced capacity, the Test will now be re-ticketed. All current ticket holders will receive a full refund, including all associated costs, and will have an exclusive window to repurchase tickets.
That window, via Ticketek, will run from 3pm – Brisbane time – on January 13 until 9am the following morning, after which remaining tickets will go on public sale.
CA interim CEO Nick Hockley said safety of fans, staff, players, officials and broadcasters remained the top priority.
"We have been working closely with Queensland Health to ensure our strong biosecurity plans guarantees the fourth Test at The Gabba is played safely," Hockley said.
"Throughout the season, we have developed a strong track record for a safe and responsible return to sport thanks to our well-established biosecurity protocols, the ongoing support from public health officials and the incredible hard work of so many people across Australian cricket.
"I want to thank the Queensland Government for their cooperation and willingness to working closely with CA and the BCCI so we can deliver the fourth Test as planned, but more importantly delivering on a plan that places the safety and wellbeing of the players, match officials and the wider community as a top priority."
The status of the series finale had been uncertain for more than a week after media reports suggested some in India's camp had pushed for it to be moved from the Queensland capital with fears over the strictness of hotel quarantine believed to be at the centre of their concerns.
CA has been insistent all along the Test will go ahead at the ground as planned, after receiving positive feedback from the powers that be BCCI. On Sunday night they received the most important tick of approval.
CA said on Monday that India's touring party confirmed with them they are happy to play in Brisbane and agree to the city's quarantine protocols.
"The fourth Test will be at the Gabba, as planned," Hockley said on SEN Radio.
"On the basis of yesterday's discussions we are full steam ahead to play the fourth Test at the Gabba."
Crucial in the discussions between CA and BCCI are believed to be signed assurances from Queensland Health that players will be allowed to mingle within the hotel.
Also, police will not patrol their floors, given CA has hired the entire accommodation complex with players able to roam within.
There had been fears about what the UK strain being detected in one hotel worker in Brisbane could mean for the Indian team’s travel plans at the end of the series when they will return home to prepare for a series against England.
However, those concerns now appear to have subsided.
CA bosses have spoken with their Indian counterparts almost daily for the duration of the tour, with quarantine making it the trickiest ever played in Australia.
Hockley met with officials from within India's camp on Saturday evening over the boundary rope, before the final confirmation was given on Sunday night.
Australia last lost at the Gabba in 1988, with their undefeated run of 31 matches at the ground the longest current streak for any team at any venue in world cricket.
Vodafone Test Series v India 2020-21
Australia Test squad: Tim Paine (c), Sean Abbott, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner
India Test squad: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Thangarasu Natarajan
First Test: Australia won by eight wickets
Second Test: India won by eight wickets
Third Test: January 7-11, SCG, 10.30am AEDT
Fourth Test: January 15-19, Gabba, 11am AEDT