The possibility of the fourth Test of the 2020/21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy taking place at the Gabba in Brisbane appears unsure at the moment after members of the Indian cricket team have expressed their concerns of travelling to the city in view of the strict Covid protocols that have been put in place in the state of Queensland. As per a report in Cricbuzz, the team management is not keen to accept further restrictions on the mentally-exhausted players and that if the players are to be confined to their rooms, the team will not travel.
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“If you look at it, we were quarantining for 14 days in Dubai before landing in Sydney and doing so for another 14 days. That means we were in a hard bubble for nearly a month before coming out. What we don’t want now is to quarantine again at the end of the tour,” a source in the Indian team told Cricbuzz.
India have already served their mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival, including those who have joined the squad late, such as Rohit Sharma. The sources made it clear that while the Indian contingent has been cooperative with the protocols laid out to them by Cricket Australia and other state governments, the idea of another possible quarantine will be too much to deal with and that they would prefer the last two Tests being held at the same venue, i.e. – The Sydney Cricket Ground.
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“We aren’t keen on going to Brisbane if it means being stuck in the hotel again, except for going to the ground. Instead, we don’t mind being in some other city, playing both Test matches there to complete the series and returning home,” the source added.
“We understand the complexity of what’s happening currently. Cricket Australia and we have cooperated at every step with regards to following the protocols within the bubble. But we were expecting to be treated in the same vein as ‘normal Australians’ in terms of restrictions once we completed that initial quarantine in Sydney.”
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News agency The Australian has reported that the Australian players have already been informed that they will be restricted to their room when not playing or training, but the Indian contingent is yet to receive any such update. It also reports that the development has left members of the Australian team ‘upset’.
The team, currently in Melbourne, is expected to fly to Sydney on Monday, and after the completion of the third Test. As per the original schedule, they were to travel to Queensland, but the development has now cast a shadow on the possibility of that happening. Queensland have placed border restrictions having shut it to New South Wales, which is recovering from the fresh surge of Covid-19 cases.