Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting has taken a sly dig at Team India for their reservations over travelling to Queensland for the fourth and final Test of the ongoing series. The Indian team-management has made it clear it does not want the players and the staff members to undergo another strict quarantine.
The fate of the match, scheduled to be played at the Gabba, had been in some doubt due to Queensland’s biosecurity provisions, particularly given the recent outbreak of the more contagious UK variant of COVID-19. Recent reports suggested that there had been concerns the Queensland outbreak could affect Team India’s preparation ahead of a lengthy series against England at home, starting next month.
At present, there is no restriction on arrivals in India from Australia. But the BCCI is reportedly worried the situation could rapidly change. People arriving in India from the UK must serve a week of institutional quarantine followed by another week at home. Should similar restrictions be placed on India later this month, it would severely hamper their preparation for the England series.
And as BCCI and Cricket Australia (CA) continue to talk over the issue, Ricky Ponting has taken a shot at the visitors for their reluctance in travelling to Queensland.
“If the decision is to go ahead with a match in Brisbane, the Indian team will be there,” former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar said on the Seven Network.
On the other hand, Ricky Ponting cheekily said that the tourists are trying to find an excuse for not going to Queensland. He was also quick to point out that the Australian players have been living in bio-secure bubbles for a longer period than the Indian players while taking another dig at India by saying that their players didn’t worry about the quarantine during the IPL.
“It looks like they are trying to find an excuse not to go to Brisbane,” Ricky Ponting said. “You have signed up for the tour to play the Test matches. It’s not ideal for anyone, or the Australians, if they go to Brisbane (to be) locked down in a hotel.
“The Australians have actually been in a bubble longer than the Indians have. We didn’t hear anything about these Indian players worrying about quarantines or lockdowns in the middle of the IPL, did we?” he added.
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