India test still slated for Adelaide despite COVID-19 outbreak

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Cricket Australia said it was still planning to host the first test against India in Adelaide next month despite moving players out of South Australia on Tuesday after a cluster of new coronavirus cases in the state.

South Australia reimposed social distancing restrictions on Monday after detecting 21 cases of the virus, most of which were acquired locally in Adelaide.

With neighbouring states starting to close the borders with South Australia to try to contain the outbreak, Cricket Australia shifted international players from their Twenty20 and one-day squads north to Sydney.

India's squad is already in quarantine in Sydney preparing for six limited-overs matches against Australia in November and December followed by the four-test series, which is scheduled to start at Adelaide Oval on Dec. 17.

Cricket Australia said in a statement it "remained committed" to playing the first test at the ground.

"CA has taken a pro-active approach and mobilised a number of people across the country over the past 24 hours to shore up our men's domestic and international schedules," said interim chief executive Nick Hockley.

"CA will continue to monitor the situation in South Australia and the resulting border restrictions around the country. "As ever, we will remain agile in addressing the challenges presented by the pandemic and remain more confident than ever of hosting a safe and successful summer across all formats."The Adelaide Strikers and the other South Australia-based players preparing for the Big Bash League were also moved out of the state to a training camp on the New South Wales coast ahead of the start of the domestic Twenty20 league on Dec. 10.

South Australia was more successful than New South Wales and Victoria at containing the virus when it first arrived in Australia and hosted the first four rounds of the domestic Sheffield Shield competition from mid-October.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Ed Osmond)

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