Australia vs India: Cricket tour in disarray due to COVID-19 virus clusters in host country

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Rapid restrictions to curb a coronavirus outbreak in South Australia complicated preparations for India’s blockbuster cricket tour Monday, with Australian captain Tim Paine reportedly being forced into isolation and raising questions about the first test in Adelaide. Australian health and cricket authorities said on Monday it was too early to say what a rapidly emerging cluster of virus cases around Adelaide would mean for the tour of India, which kicks off Nov. 27.

Virat Kohli’s men are scheduled to play a series of ODIs and T20s in relatively virus-free Sydney and Canberra before traveling to Adelaide for the first test on December 17-21.

The South Australian city has become the epicenter of Australia’s efforts to suppress the pandemic, with 17 cases linked to a hotel confinement outbreak.

Australian states rushed on Monday to re-impose restrictions on domestic travel that could complicate the squadrons’ movements.

Australian Test captain Paine and several other players from multiple states were told to isolate themselves after a trip to South Australia where they played Sheffield Shield cricket, Australian media reported.

South Australian Prime Minister Steven Marshall said he hoped the outbreak could be brought under control in time to avoid disruption to the test trip.

“The cricket is still on the way for a while and we will deal with this as soon as possible,” he said.

“If we act quickly and decisively, we will be here for this, I hope we can fix this in the coming weeks.”

Paceman and Vice Captain Pat Cummins said there was still uncertainty about the impact of the outbreak.

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“To be honest, I’m not sure how that will affect us in a few weeks when we go there,” he said.

“Cricket Australia has thought of every continent … with different options, different plans. So I’m sure what we have to do, we will find a way.”

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