Former England captain Michael Vaughan’s call to Cricket Australia (CA) to relocate the remaining two Ashes Tests to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in the wake of the evolving COVID-19 situation in the country has elicited a strong response from Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) CEO Todd Greenberg, who has said there is no need to change the schedule.
The fourth Test is scheduled at the Sydney Cricket Ground, while the fifth and final Ashes game is in Bellerive Oval (Hobart), and Vaughan opined that to minimise the risk to players of the two sides, their support staff and families, the remaining two games should also be played at the MCG.
The MCG is currently hosting the Boxing Day Test.
On Monday, four people in the English camp — two support staff and two of their family members — tested COVID-positive, causing a scare in the team and all the members of the touring party had to undergo Rapid Antigen Tests before the start of Day 2 proceedings. Play also was delayed by half an hour.
Responding to Vaughan’s comments, Greenberg said the ACA was “confident and hopeful” that the final two games would go ahead as scheduled.
“I don’t think (there’s any need to change the schedule),” Greenberg told SEN Test Cricket on Monday.
“Talking with Cricket Australia, we’re confident we can continue to do what we’re scheduled to do and the protocols aren’t that much different in Sydney than (what we’re doing) in Melbourne anyway. Cricket is a big ecosystem, there’s lots of venues, stakeholders and fans so making changes on the run isn’t easy to do.
“We are confident and hopeful that we will continue the summer as planned,” Greenberg added.