Did the five Indian players breach bio-secure protocols? Will they be penalised if the answer is yes? What if India indeed decide against travelling to Brisbane for the fourth Test? Cricket has taken a backseat as the spice levels in the ongoing India-Australia Test went up several notches in the New Year.
Former India opener Wasim Jaffer added to that spice by giving a stunning reply to a Queensland minister who said India better not come to Brisbane if they are unwilling to abide by the strict rules in place due to the Covid-19 situation.
Jaffer posted a meme with the caption: “Aus minister: “Play by our rules or don’t come”. Indian team with Border-Gavaskar trophy in the bag,” to reply to the minister which left Twitter users in splits.
“If the Indians don’t want to play by the rules, don’t come,” Queensland’s Health Shadow Minister Ros Bates had said earlier on Sunday when she was asked about the reports indicating India’s reluctance to travel to Brisbane for the fourth Test.
Bates’ sentiments were echoed by Tim Mander, Queensland’s Shadow Sports Minister, who said there’s no room for ignoring the protocols and that every individual will have to go through the same drill.
“If the Indian cricket team wants to spit the dummy and disregard quarantine guidelines in Brisbane for the fourth Test, then they shouldn’t come. The same rules must apply for everyone. Simple,” Mander said.
Queensland state has closed its border with New South Wales and although agreement has been reached to allow the players to fly to Brisbane for the fourth test on Jan. 15, there is uncertainty as to what level of restrictions they will face after having been in Sydney.
Reports in the Australian media, citing sources within the touring party, said India’s players, many of whom have been in some form of quarantine or other for six months, would refuse to travel if they were going to be subjected to a hard lockdown.
A spokesman for the India team did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reports.
India’s players underwent 14 days of strict quarantine after their arrival in Australia but have since enjoyed more freedom while preparing for and playing matches in Adelaide, Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne.
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