BCCI missive on Brisbane
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has formally communicated to Cricket Australia that their players and support staff won’t adhere to hard quarantine protocol during their stay in Brisbane for the fourth Test.
The BCCI letter, written by its chief executive Hemang Amin to his Cricket Australia counterpart, mentions that according to the MoU signed between the two boards, there was no mention of the team having to undergo two hard quarantines and in different cities. The team has already served one 14-day quarantine period on landing in Sydney, which was limited to the hotel room and practice in batches.
Sources have told The Telegraph that Cricket Australia is trying to negotiate with the Queensland government and arrange for isolation of the players and support staff at their hotel, much like the way they are spending time in Sydney.
“The Brisbane Test (from January 15) is not under any threat as of now. Players will travel there and remain in isolation at the hotel when not practising or playing matches. Floors will be earmarked for the players of both teams and they can mingle there since they will be travelling from one bio-bubble to another,” the source said.
Those travelling from New South Wales to Queensland have to observe health protocols, including 14-day quarantine, since Sydney has become a hot spot.
The issue has been simmering ever since the team arrived in Sydney on November 12. Having undergone quarantine in Dubai and Sydney, the BCCI has told Cricket Australia that it wants to be treated as normal citizens.
The Indians decided to adhere to hotel isolation norms in Sydney because of the prevalent situation there. No outsider is being allowed and floors have been strictly earmarked for the contingent.
Stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane made his displeasure evident when he spoke of how it was “challenging to stay in the hotel” when the outside city looked “normal”.
Interestingly, the commentary teams of Fox Sports and Channel Seven decided not to travel to Sydney for the third Test.
Foxtel, the producer of the series, has divided its commentary team into two groups with some, including Shane Warne, staying back in Melbourne to work from the studios. Channel Seven, a free-to-air channel, has kept its entire commentary team — which includes Sunil Gavaskar, Ricky Ponting and Michael Slater among others — in Melbourne.
By not going to Sydney, the commentators can easily travel to Brisbane.