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India Women in Australia: Start delayed by two days, all games to be played in Queensland

Metricon Stadium to host one-off pink-ball Test and the T20Is, while Mackay will host the three-match ODI series

Annesha Ghosh
Annesha Ghosh
The first match on the Indian team's tour of Australia will be delayed by two days - from September 19 to September 21 - and the entire series of three ODIs, one day-night Test, and three T20Is will now be played in Mackay and Carrara in Queensland because of Covid-19-enforced restrictions.
The first ODI, which will kick off the multi-format series, was originally slotted for North Sydney Oval, but is now going to be played in Mackay, where the second and final ODIs - originally set for Melbourne's Junction Oval - would also be held.
In the original schedule, North Sydney Oval and Junction Oval, alongside Perth's WACA Stadium (for the one-off Test), were the chosen venues. But the lockdowns around Australia have caused the rejig with the pink-ball Test now taking place at Metricon Stadium from September 30 to October 3. The same venue will host the tour-ending three-match T20I-series, which was originally slotted for Sydney, on October 7, 9 and 10.
The India squad flew out on Sunday afternoon, and will reach Brisbane via Dubai, after which they will serve a 14-day hard quarantine that ends on September 13.
After the quarantine, the Indians will play a practice match in Brisbane on September 18. ESPNcricinfo understands that the BCCI had asked for the warm-up game and multiple training sessions ahead of it following completion of quarantine, based on their takeaways from India's tour of UK earlier this year, when there were no tour games, which affected the team's preparations.
The Australian players who are based in Melbourne and Sydney will arrive in Brisbane on Monday to begin two weeks quarantine with the remainder of the squad arriving nearer the start of the season.
"We've been monitoring the situation across the country and it is clear that the current Covid challenges prevent the original schedule from proceeding as initially planned," Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley said. "We are incredibly grateful to the Queensland Government for agreeing to quarantine the Australian and Indian players and enabling this important series to be played in Queensland. We are also delighted to be bringing our World Champion women's team to Mackay and regional Queensland.
"Having had to postpone the series last summer due to the pandemic, we are looking forward to hosting an Indian team which boasts some of the best players in the world in this historic series featuring the first ever day-night Test match between the two sides. We thank everyone involved for their support and cooperation to stage this series safely and look forward to our World Champion women's team launching this massive summer of cricket against a world class Indian team."
India's touring party includes a total of 22 players and, apart from the support staff, two members of the selection panel - Neetu David, the chief selector, and V Kalpana.
Brisbane hosted the limited-overs series between Australia and New Zealand at the start of last season too, but the Allan Border Field, which traditionally hosts most women's matches in the state, is out of commission because of redevelopment. As a result, Metricon Stadium, which is set to host its first WBBL fixture this season, has been identified as an alternate venue.

Annesha Ghosh is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @ghosh_annesha