Manuka Oval could emerge as a shock contender to host the New Year's Test as Cricket Australia bosses combat a coronavirus cluster on Sydney's northern beaches.
CA officials are facing the prospect of shifting the third Test between Australia and India out of Sydney with the match due to start on January 7.
It is believed the governing body's preferred option is to host the match at the Sydney Cricket Ground as originally intended.
But the next most likely move is to shift the third Test to Brisbane and play the fourth match, originally scheduled for the Gabba, in Sydney from January 15 should the virus be contained.
Officials will need to make a decision within days as the new cluster of cases threatens to wreak havoc, with the iconic Sydney to Hobart yacht race already cancelled.
Should the schedule stay the same, travel from Sydney to Brisbane could become impossible if the Queensland government closes its border to people from the NSW capital.
Hosting consecutive Tests in Melbourne, where the series resumes on Boxing Day after Australia took a 1-0 series lead in an Adelaide demolition, looms as another option.
But hosting a match at an alternative venue such as the MCG or Canberra's Manuka Oval is well down CA's list of favoured options given Sydney would be left without a Test for the summer.
Australian vice-captain Pat Cummins says the COVID-19 outbreak centred in Sydney's northern beaches has been a talking point among players.
"Of course, we have been chatting about that - fingers crossed it doesn't escalate too much," Cummins said.
"But Cricket Australia have been amazing with our medical staff. They have thought of every contingency and been red-hot on our discipline with mask wearing and isolation before coming into the bubble.
"Fingers crossed Sydney can look after themselves."
Cricket Australia on Saturday pre-empted Victoria's decision to close its border to people from Sydney, moving injured Test players David Warner and Sean Abbott to Melbourne.
The rest of the Australian squad will soon join them after taking a series lead with an eight-wicket win in the first Test.
Manuka Oval has proven it can host Test cricket after almost 20,000 piled into the venue for the opening two days of Australia's clash with Sri Lanka in February 2019.
Dwindling crowds at other venues had once sparked ambitious hopes Canberra could make the leap to No. 5 on the list of premier Test cities in Australia, which would gift the ACT more top level cricket.
However a realistic Cricket ACT chief James Allsopp, who is poised to link up with CA in a new role in March, has said Canberra is best suited to targeting low-drawing nations.