Manuka Oval is on standby to host Big Bash finals as officials look to save Australian cricket's domestic showpiece from the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Canberra Times can reveal Cricket ACT staff are ready to swing into action if the Twenty20 tournament comes calling yet again for a saving grace.
Finals are traditionally played at the home ground of the higher-ranked team but the chance of a coronavirus outbreak threatens to leave officials scrambling for alternatives.
The Sydney Sixers seem destined to finish first while the Sydney Thunder, who sat second as of Tuesday, are in the hunt to host a finals clash - but both sides have been locked out of their home city for the entire tournament to date.
Canberra has hosted 10 games this summer, having initially hosted a BBL hub before answering an SOS from Cricket Australia after games had to be shifted out of Sydney and Melbourne.
Thunder captain Callum Ferguson would relish the chance to return to Manuka Oval, which is allowed to host crowds up to 65 per cent of the venue's capacity, as the club looks to bounce back from four losses in their past five games on the road to the finals.
"It's a ground we do play well at, and we feel like we have got a second home here. We've got great support from the Thunder fans and we love playing here," Ferguson said.
"We feel like the ground suits our cricket, unfortunately we haven't been able to get the job done in the last few games, there's a bit of a trend towards the end of the tournament here batting second.
"Maybe that's something we need to have a look at for when we come back at some point.
"I feel like we do play really well here, and we do have a good handle on the conditions. We haven't been getting belted in any of the games we've lost throughout the season, we've been right in most of these contests and with a chance to win most of the games.
"We'll certainly make sure the guys don't lose too much confidence out of this game for sure, because we had our chances in this game [against Hobart on Monday night]."
The Thunder and Sixers will enter the finals as the only two clubs to miss out on playing in their home city, but the Thunder have long regarded Canberra as a home away from home, with the club bringing games to the ACT every season in an effort to capitalise on a growing fan base.
"It means an enormous amount, the support we get here at Manuka Oval. We really do feel like it's a second home," Ferguson said.
"There's so much green in the outer and in the stands, it's a place we love coming to.
"It's a place we're hopeful we will be able to come back to later in the tournament if there are some finals played here."