First Test stays at Gabba, Brisbane instead of Sydney, quarantine rules

The first Test of the Ashes is set to stay in Brisbane despite talks of a re-jig that would have had the blockbuster series start in Sydney.

The New South Wales government’s decision to remove mandatory quarantine for fully vaccinated, Covid-negative arrivals from next month triggered discussions about the possibility of changing the Ashes schedule.

Sportsmail reports that the ECB explored the possibility of starting the series at the SCG, which would have allowed England’s players to avoid hotel quarantine.

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The proposal reportedly had the strong backing of players but was shot down by Cricket Australia, according to the publication.

Fears over players being stuck in NSW due to ongoing state border complications saw the schedule change deemed too risky.

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The Daily Telegraph reports that the ECB accepted CA’s decision as a gesture of goodwill for the summer.

England will now complete two weeks of quarantine on the Gold Coast next month as planned before the Gabba Test begins on December 8.

Starting the Ashes in Sydney had the backing of past greats Michael Vaughan and Shane Warne, who will also be arriving from England before the series to commentate for Fox Cricket.

“With NSW looking like the State who now realise we have to learn to live with the virus it makes total sense to start the Ashes in Sydney,” Vaughan tweeted.

“Why put players/broadcasters through quarantine when NSW look like double vaccinated non positive tested people won’t have to?”

Warne responded: “Love this idea! Over to you Cricket Australia!”

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