The entire Indian squad came through clean in the latest COVID-19. And it seemed like it would be the end of all the ruckus that followed a viral video which showed five Indian cricketers having a meal at an indoor restaurant. But to everyone’s dismay, the storm continues to brew. Following the alleged bio bubble breach, Queensland Health Shadow Minister Ros Bates went on to give team India an ultimatum. Bates said, “If the Indians don’t want to play by the rules, don’t come.“
And this comment has the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) all riled up. A source in the know of developments shares that the governing body is ‘hurt’ by the tone of the statement. The source asserts that the comment portrays the tourists in a bad light. And it has led BCCI to consider cutting the series short with the Sydney Test being the final game of the tour.
“The statement made by the public representative portrays Indians in poor light. And let me assure you, we do not want to do anything other than to abide by the rules, and Rohit Sharma’s strict quarantine is a case in point. To try and propagate a view that we don’t wish to follow the rules is unacceptable. The tone and tenor, in which it was said seemed rife with hostility and bordered on racism. It is, therefore, not a surprise that a rethink is on the cards.“
“If a representative of the public does not want us there, it is hurtful and the last thing we want is to upset the Australian fans who have given us so much love and support over the years. We do not wish to make it difficult for them or for Cricket Australia,” the official told ANI.
We’ve had nothing formal from the BCCI
On the other hand, there have been numerous reports of BCCI demanding to relocate the Gabba Test owing to too strict COVID protocols. Clearing the air on the matter, Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley clarified that they have received no such request from the BCCI. Hockley went to explain that the reports regarding strict protocols are just limited to that. And players will be allowed to move freely within their groups in Brisbane.
“We’ve had nothing formal from the BCCI to suggest anything other than they are supportive. We speak to our counterparts in the BCCI daily and we have clarified in the last 24 hours what the precise requirements are in Brisbane,” cricket.com.au quoted Hockley as saying.
“There has been some reporting that players will be confined to their rooms — that’s not the case. Typically for a Test match, players arrive at the ground between 8 am and 9 am and they are there until 6 or 7 pm at night, and then it’s back to the hotel to rest and recuperate and they will be able to mix within their groups. So everyone’s fully across that, and supportive,” he added.
As per the schedule, Sydney will be hosting the third Test from January 7. And the Gabba will be the final stop of the Indians as they play the fourth Test in Brisbane before returning home after a long three months stay Down Under.