SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) – Cricket Australia could lose hundreds of millions of dollars if this year’s Test tour by India is scrapped because of the novel coronavirus, its chief executive officer warned recently.

Kevin Roberts said Australia was considering extending the four-Test series to five games, which would mean sacrificing the one-off Test against Afghanistan in November.

In October and November Australia are also hosting the Twenty20 World Cup, for which the International Cricket Council has said it is “exploring all options”.

Roberts said Cricket Australia had already lost Au$20 million (US$12.6 million) since the start of the coronavirus crisis, a figure that would balloon if India cannot tour.

“If you contemplate the prospect of the international season, in particular, being affected, we have an issue of hundreds of millions of dollars on our hands,” Roberts told Australian media in a conference call.”

India, the world’s top Test team, enjoy a huge domestic audience, making their tours an important source of income for host nations.

Roberts said Australia and India had a “shared desire” to move to a five-Test series in the future, which would put it on par with the biennial Ashes games against England.