India fine with strict quarantine for Brisbane Test, says Cricket Australia boss

Published January 4, 2021
India's Shubman Gill (R) leaves the team's hotel in Melbourne on January 4. — AFP
India's Shubman Gill (R) leaves the team's hotel in Melbourne on January 4. — AFP

Cricket Australia boss Nick Hockley has dismissed speculation that India is weighing a boycott of the fourth Test in Brisbane over the need to re-enter strict quarantine conditions.

Australian media, citing unnamed sources within India's touring party, reported the team's players would refuse to travel to Brisbane if they were to be subjected to a hard lockdown in Queensland state.

Hockley said the Indian cricket board (BCCI) was “fully across (and) supportive” of quarantine requirements in Queensland.

“We speak to our counterparts at the BCCI daily,” he told reporters in Sydney on Monday.

“We've had nothing formal from the BCCI to suggest anything other than they're supportive [...] Both teams have wanted to play the schedule as we've set out.”

The third Test in the four-match series will start at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday, after Cricket Australia decided not to move the match in the wake of an outbreak of Covid-19 in the city. The series is level at 1-1.

Queensland has closed its border with New South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital, but agreed to let the players travel to Brisbane for the fourth Test on Jan 15, as long as they agree to abide by strict biosecurity protocols.

Five Indian players are under investigation by CA and the BCCI for a potential breach of health protocols after video surfaced of them at a Melbourne restaurant.

The team and BCCI have declined to publicly affirm their support for the Brisbane quarantine plan or comment on the investigation, although the BCCI said in a brief statement on Monday that all players and staff had been cleared of Covid-19.

Australia spin bowler Nathan Lyon called on players from both sides to “stop complaining” about touring in the Covid-19 “bubble”.

“There's a few people from both squads who have been in a bubble for close to six months now but in my eyes it's a very small sacrifice,” he told reporters on Monday.

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