At a time when the focus of the cricketing fraternity should have been on the upcoming third Test between India and Australia, the entire spotlight is on the fourth Test at Brisbane for all the wrong reasons. It all began when reports emerged, suggesting that Team India expressed reservations over the strict quarantine protocols in Queensland.
The reports stated that India were not keen on travelling to Queensland for the fourth Test and wanted the venue to be changed for the last Test of the series. The BCCI, however, is yet to release any statement on the issue. On Monday, Cricket Australia interim CEO Nick Hockley confirmed that there has not been a formal request for relaxation on protocols for their players from the BCCI.
And amidst all these, a BCCI official has further added fuel to the fire by reacting strongly to Queensland’s Health Shadow Minister Ros Bates’ recent comment. The official said that Bates’ comment was boarded on racism’ and ‘seemed rife with hostility’. He also said that the prospect of not playing in Brisbane is still on the cards.
Reacting to the news of India’s reservation over traveling to Queensland, Bates had said: “If the Indians don’t want to play by the rules, don’t come.”
On the other hand, Queensland’s Shadow Sports Minister Tim Mander said: “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.”
The BCCI official has now hit back at Bates, saying that her comment portrays Indians in poor light and it is not a surprise that a rethink (for change of venue) is on the cards. The official is in the know of developments in the last few days.
“The statement made by the public representative portrays Indians in poor light and let me assure you, we do not want to do anything other than to abide by the rules, and Rohit Sharma’s strict quarantine is a case in point,” the official said before adding: “To try and propagate a view that we don’t wish to follow the rules is unacceptable and the tone and tenor, in which it was said seemed rife with hostility and bordered on racism. It is, therefore, not a surprise that a rethink is on the cards.”
“If a representative of the public does not want us there, it is hurtful and the last thing we want is to upset the Australian fans who have given us so much love and support over the years. We do not wish to make it difficult for them or for Cricket Australia,” the official further said.
Today I was asked about reports the Indian Cricket Team wants quarantine restrictions eased just for them, ahead of the upcoming Gabba Test. My response 👇 #Cricket #IndiavsAustralia @ICC @CricketAus pic.twitter.com/MV7W0rIntM
— Ros Bates MP (@Ros_Bates_MP) January 3, 2021
Meanwhile, the four-match series is set for a thrilling end after a stunning start. The series is currently locked at 1-1.
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