New Delhi, January 7
The Indian cricket board (BCCI) today wrote to Cricket Australia (CA) to seek a relaxation in the hard quarantine protocol at Brisbane, venue of the fourth Test. BCCI reminded CA that the visitors are through with the one strict isolation that was agreed upon at the beginning of the tour.
It is learnt that a top BCCI executive wrote to CA head Earl Eddings, citing to him the MoU signed by the two boards on the modalities of the tour, pointing out the MoU didn’t have any specification on two hard quarantines in separate cities.
The Brisbane Test is due to start on January 15 and the quarantine rules will restrict the players to just their hotel rooms after the day’s play.
“The discussions are still on but today BCCI has formally sent a letter seeking relaxation of hard quarantine for its players if they are to have the match in Brisbane,” a senior BCCI official said. “The MoU never mentioned two hard quarantines. India have done one hard quarantine in Sydney.”
“The BCCI’s demand is simple. The players want to mingle with each other inside the hotel bio-bubble, like they did in the IPL. They want to have their meals together inside the hotel and also have the team meetings together. That’s not a big demand,” he informed.
CA’s communications have stated that the players can mingle outside their rooms, but only with those who are residing on the same floor.
“BCCI has told CA that the relaxation of the quarantine rules should be given in writing. During India’s hard quarantine in Sydney after reaching from UAE, there used to be police personnel on each floor ensuring that there was no breach of bio-safety protocols,” the BCCI official said. “Hopefully, nothing of that sort will happen if the team travels to Brisbane. All we want is IPL-style bio-bubble.”
In case the Queensland authorities don’t budge and give relaxations, the fourth Test could well be played in Sydney, though that remains a distant possibility as talks continue. — PTI