Sydney, January 4
The Indian cricket board (BCCI) or the team management have not expressed a reluctance to play the fourth Test in Brisbane because of very tough quarantine protocols there.
Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive Nick Hockley dismissed reports that the Indians don’t want to play the fourth Test in Brisbane, which falls in Queensland state, where the government has enforced strict protocols for visitors from Sydney area.
Hockley said BCCI was “fully across (and) supportive” of quarantine requirements in Queensland. “We speak to our counterparts at the BCCI daily,” Hockley told reporters. “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.”
“Typically for a Test match, players arrive at the ground between 8 am and 9 am and they are there until 6 or 7 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.
The third Test in the four-match series is scheduled to be played at in Sydney from Thursday, and the fourth is scheduled to be played from January 15 in Brisbane.
Australian media had claimed that the Brisbane Test is in jeopardy because of the tourists’ reluctance to travel there in view of harder quarantine rules, having already served one quarantine on entering Australia in November. The reports, citing unnamed sources, claimed that the Indian team wanted the fourth Test too in Sydney. Queensland has closed its borders for people travelling from New South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital, due to the rising Covid-19 cases in Sydney and surrounding areas.
Earlier today, Australia’s leading spinner Nathan Lyon had called on players from both teams to “get out there and play the game” instead of worrying over things that are beyond their control. “I am not really worried about what’s being reported, it is for us to worry about what we can control and the information that we are receiving from the people at Cricket Australia and the medical people,” Lyon said. — TNS, agencies
Teams reach Sydney; players negative for Covid
The Indian and Australian teams travelled to Sydney today after all their players and support staff returned negative in latest round of Covid-19 tests. Earlier, five Indian players — Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant, Navdeep Saini and Prithvi Shaw — were placed in isolation for an alleged breach of bio-security protocols, even the cricket boards of the two nations jointly investigated the issue.
Crowd capacity limited to 25% for third Test
The crowd limit for the third Test has been reduced to 25 percent of the SCG’s seating capacity on advice of the New South Wales government after fresh Covid-19 cases were recorded in Sydney. About 9,500 people would be allowed to watch the game.