AUS v IND 2020-21: Reports suggest Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya breached COVID-19 protocols

Apart from this incident, the Sydney Morning Herald reported another breach by Indian players.

Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya with a fan in a Sydney store | InstagramAmidst the ongoing investigation into the alleged breach of COVID-19 protocols by the visiting members of the Indian cricket team in Sydney, who went out to dine in an inside restaurant and were clicked by a fan, it has been suggested that two more cricketers had committed the breach before.

Two more – minor – potential breaches of biosecurity protocols by India’s visiting Test team have been revealed.

The first of the new incidents occurred in early December when captain Virat Kohli shopped at a Sydney baby store alongside teammate Hardik Pandya. Both Kohli and Pandya have since returned to India, as Pandya was not part of the Test squad and Kohli played the first Test at Adelaide and came back to India on paternal leave.

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According to The Sydney Morning Herald reports, Kohli and Pandya had posed for photos with fans while shopping in the store. As per CA officials, the pair breached biosecurity rules by not wearing masks inside the store.

Similarly, when the sides were in Adelaide the following week, a group of Indian players dined outdoors at Waffle and Coffee. According to the Herald, two of them went inside to order before the group ate outdoors – but the players who went inside were not wearing masks.

However, no punishment is likely given that neither breach was officially reported to Cricket Australia, and both incidents lie at the minor end of potential breaches to the restrictions.

The issue of this investigation has heated up after the Indian players are not willing to travel to Queensland for the fourth Test match at the Gabba in Brisbane. This is because of the stricter COVID-19 protocols in the state, which would see them restricted to their team hotel except to train and play.

Reports claim the India touring party would prefer the Test is rescheduled to be played in Sydney, allowing them more freedom to move around the city.

(Foxsports/Sydney Morning Herald inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 03 Jan, 2021

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