In a major development, Team India has expressed its reluctance in traveling to Brisbane for the fourth and final Test of the ongoing Border Gavaskar Trophy.
The reluctance stems amid fears that the touring party will be forced into a hard quarantine once they travel to Queensland with their movements severely restricted.
According to a report published in CricBuzz, a source in the Indian team has said that the visitors have been clear in their stance from the start that once they complete the mandatory 14-day hard quarantine in Sydney at the start of the tour, they should be treated as normal Australian citizens as far as their restrictions on the travel movement are concerned.
And, with fears of another hard quarantine in Brisbane stemming, the Indians are keen to stay in Sydney and play the final two Tests at the SCG.
“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 was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
The official further added that while they have been cooperating with the protocols laid by Cricket Australia but they are not willing to be ‘shunted around’ now.
“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,” he 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,” the source said.
It is unlikely that the Queensland government will reconsider the restrictions imposed on people traveling from New South Wales, which would mean exactly the kind of quarantine that Team India is reluctant of undergoing.
“All we’re saying is the boys have been in various states of lockdowns and bubbles for nearly six months now. And it’s not been easy for anyone. If you look at it, we are one of only two teams who have had zero issues while being on a tour during this pandemic. After all this time, what we don’t want is to be sent into another hard bubble, which seems will be the case in Brisbane,” the source added.
The final Test in Brisbane is scheduled to kickstart from January 15.