With the reports of an alleged breach of bio-security protocols by five Indian players triggering a massive controversy amid the Border Gavaskar Trophy series, the Australian government has sharply reacted to the incident which is said to have jeopardized the remaining two Tests. As per reports in the Australian media, the BCCI has threatened to refrain from playing the fourth Test at Gabba, if the Queensland government remains stern on its quarantine rules. As per Australian media reports, the Indian board has expressed displeasure over the stringent measures in Brisbane which requires the players to be confined to their hotel rooms, as per the hard lockdown enforced amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reacting to these reports, Queensland's Shadow Minister for Health Ros Bates has issued a message to the touring Indian team and the BCCI. "If the Indians don't want to play by the rules, don't come," Bates said while addressing the local media.
Similarly, Queensland's Shadow Sports Minister Tim Mander also downplayed the concerns of the Indian team and took a sharp jibe at the visitors. “If the Indian cricket team wants to spit the dummy and disregard quarantine guidelines in Brisbane for the fourth Test, then they shouldn’t come,” Mander said. The BCCI is yet to issue an official statement on the same.
The reports come amid the alleged breach of bio-bubble protocols by five Indian players including Vice-Captain Rohit Sharma. While Cricket Australia has confirmed that there was a breach by the visitors, BCCI has not yet clarified on the same and is yet to issue a statement. Cricket Australia has said that 5 players from the touring party have been 'separated' from the squad and have been placed under isolation. These players are Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw and Navdeep Saini. While the aforementioned players have been allowed to train, the BCCI and Cricket Australia have launched an investigation into the matter.
The controversy burst open when a fan named Navaldeep Singh took to Twitter to share a series of tweets & a video on meeting the Team India stars at a hotel and went on to claim that he had paid their food bill. The fan also made a controversial claim that Rishabh Pant had 'hugged' him, however, backtracked and apologised later, revealing that he was 'excited' to meet them and that social distancing had been maintained throughout.
SCG gets nod to host 3rd Test
However, Australian media has also reported that the aforementioned players have been cleared to play the third Test at Sydney. Clearing the cloud of doubt over the occasion for the third Test of the Border Gavaskar Trophy, Cricket Australia has confirmed that the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) will host the third Test of the series, as per the schedule. The rising number of COVID-19 cases had cast a doubt on the SCG playing the host for the annual pink Test, putting the national cricket board on high alert. However, officials have affirmed that the COVID-19 threat has subsided enough allowing the match at the SCG to proceed as per schedule.
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