Just few days after leaving the Australian shores for their respective homes, India stars Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya found themselves in a major controversy after the Australian media accused them of breaching the bio-bubble. The duo landed in hot water for visiting a baby store in Sydney last month. They had visited the shop on December 7 when the limited-overs series was underway.
At that time, the visit did not create any controversy but the Australian media recently used the visit to take more shots at the Indian contingent. The incident resurfaced amid the investigation into five Indian Test stars potentially breaching COVID-19 guidelines by eating indoors at a Melbourne restaurant. Later, the BCCI refuted the bio-breach claims and made it clear that the players followed all the protocol.
But even though Virat Kohli and Pandya have left Australia, their names are being needlessly dragged into controversy by the Australian media. And amid the controversy, the store owner of the Sydney-based baby shop has come forward to quash the baseless allegations of bio-bubble breach. According to a report from India Today, it has been learned that the baby shop owner has denied any bio-bubble breach from the Indian players during their special visit.
Nathan Pongrass, who is the owner of Baby Village, Bondi Junction has said that both Virat Kohli and Pandya ‘maintained adequate distance’ and no staff members were allowed to touch or shake hands with the cricketers at the time. Nathan recalled that there were no restrictions in New South Wales when the India stars visited the shop.
“I don’t think they were masks. As I said before, at that time, there weren’t many new cases in New South Wales. If you looked through the streets, one in 50 people were wearing masks. Older people were wearing and even some pregnant ladies weren’t wearing masks in Sydney,” Pongrass told Australian journalist Norman Kochannek.
“That was the experience we had. We had a very positive experience. It’s really a shame what has happened in the media because of it,” Pongrass added.