Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk isn’t worried about speculation Brisbane could lose the fourth cricket Test, having reported zero new cases of COVID-19 after the city started a hard lockdown.
Queensland’s capital entered a three-day lockdown on Friday night after a cleaner at a quarantine hotel tested positive to the UK strain of the coronavirus.
The development came amid rampant speculation that India would refuse to play the series finale at the Gabba as planned, unhappy with the level of restrictions being placed on them by the state government.
Cricket Australia (CA) and Queensland Cricket are still intending for the fourth Test, which starts on Friday, to be held in Brisbane.
Palaszczuk, speaking on Saturday morning, wasn’t alarmed by reports regarding reluctance from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
“As I said yesterday and the day before, discussions are still happening,” the Premier said.
“And they are still positive.”
Queensland on Saturday reported zero new cases of COVID-19 out of 14,784 tests, while all 91 close contacts of the infected hotel cleaner have tested negative.
Steve Smith, speaking after his century on Friday, noted his team would “go where we’re told” after the third Test ends.
“To my knowledge, I don’t think anything has changed,” Smith said.
“That’s not our decision to make.
“But we’d love to play at the Gabba, that’s for sure.”
Brisbane’s stay-at-home edict is currently scheduled to expire at 6pm (local time) on Monday, while both squads are set to fly into Queensland’s capital on Tuesday.
CA bigwigs won’t breathe easier until the tourists have checked into the Brisbane hotel.
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young noted on Saturday “a lot of cases” would need to be reported for the current lockdown to be extended.
“I know it’s frustrating for people and I apologise for that but we have to take this day by day,” Young said.
It remains unclear what crowd might be possible for the fourth Test, should it be held at the Gabba as planned.
The SCG’s capacity has been cut to 25 per cent for the third Test because of concerns about the risk of the virus spreading in the stands.