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NSW Health Minister Mandates Wearing Masks At SCG After Fan At MCG Tests COVID Positive

New South Wales Health Minister has affirmed that spectators will have to wear masks throughout the 3rd Test after a spectator at MCG tested COVID positive

India vs Australia

While Sydney has been cleared to host the third Test between India and Australia despite an initial COVID-19 threat, New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard has affirmed that spectators will have to wear masks throughout the 5-day match. The decision mandating masks at the SCG comes right after it was reported that a spectator at the Boxing Day Test had contracted the virus. Nearly 10,000 fans will be visiting the SCG for the annual pink day test in Sydney which begins on Thursday. 

"A COVID day for cricket, and that means mask on, not mask off unless you are actually eating or drinking. We really love cricket but on this occasion we can't afford to love it and also end up with COVID," the NSW Health Minister told 9News.

Moreover, individuals residing in certain areas have been banned from attending the SCG Test, in view of the COVID situation. These include Wentworthville, Auburn, Belmore, Berala, Birrong, Lidcombe North, Potts Hill, Regents Park, and Rookwood.

READ | Rahane Shuns India's Quarantine Concerns, Paine Hints At 'uncertainty' Over Gabba Test

SCG gets nod to host 3rd Test 

Clearing the cloud of doubt over the occasion for the third Test of the Border Gavaskar Trophy, Cricket Australia had confirmed that the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) will host the third Test of the series, as per the schedule. The rising number of COVID-19 cases had cast a doubt on the SCG playing the host for the annual pink Test, putting the national cricket board on high alert. However, officials have affirmed that the COVID-19 threat has subsided enough allowing the match at the SCG to proceed as per schedule. 

The sudden rise in COVID-19 cases in Sydney had forced CA officials to prepare the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) to host back-to-back matches after the end of the Boxing Day Test. However, interim CA CEO Nick Hockley has stated that the board has received a go-ahead from the NSW government. 

READ | 'Hitman Show About To Unfold': Rohit Sharma Gets Into Test Mode, Sweats It Out In The Nets

India announce playing XI 

Putting an end to the Hitman's much-anticipated return, Team India announced its playing XI for the SCG Test which also includes Rohit Sharma. Skipper Rahane has confirmed that Sharma will open the innings along with Shubman Gill, who has been included in the side after his decent knock at the MCG. The management has also handed Navdeep Saini his Test debut and the speedster will replace Umesh Yadav in the playing XI tomorrow. 

READ | 'World Might Stop Inviting Pakistan': Shoaib Akhtar Lashes Out At Rout Against New Zealand

READ | 'Kohli's Feats Against Australia Unlikely To Be Emulated By Another Skipper': Ravi Shastri


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