AUS v IND 2020-21: Team India agree to abide by strict protocols upon reaching Sydney for 3rd Test

The third Test will be played at SCG from January 7.

Team India reached Sydney on Monday for the third Test | GettyAmid the debate surrounding Team India’s reported unwillingness to travel to Brisbane for the fourth Test because of harsher restrictions, the visiting side has agreed to abide by all bio-security protocols upon arriving in Sydney on Monday (January 4) for the third Test of the series.

See Also: BCCI's power may help India getting away with not playing in Brisbane, says Andrew Symonds

The iconic Sydney Cricket Ground, which hosted two ODIs and two T20Is earlier in the tour, now has more strict protocols for players since there has been a spike in COVID-19 cases around the city.

"The Indian squad has been handed the protocols. The team management has agreed to it and all players and the team have been asked not to go out of the hotel except for scheduled training. The team is also asked to follow all social-distancing practices," a BCCI source told TOI.

On Monday, the BCCI confirmed that the Indian cricket team and its support staff have returned negative in the latest COVID-19 tests.

The statement came in the wake of a controversy which saw five Indian players namely Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant, Navdeep Saini and Prithvi Shaw being isolated from the team after a video of them at an indoor restaurant went viral on social media.

The Indian squad is likely to undergo another round of tests before the Sydney Test begins on January 7.

According to TOI, BCCI has been in discussion with Cricket Australia regarding the arrangements in Brisbane where the teams are likely to be put in quarantine for the final Test.

However, there are talks of offering some relaxation to the players in Brisbane.

"Putting the players into hard quarantine in Brisbane is a bit tough on the players. There are talks where they won't even be allowed to leave their rooms other than travelling to the grounds. Like in Sydney, the team should have access to the hotel floors too," a senior BCCI official told TOI.

Cricket Australia’s interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nick Hockley on Monday rubbished speculation that India is mulling boycotting the fourth and final Test of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Brisbane over the need to re-enter strict quarantine conditions.

"We speak to our counterparts at the BCCI daily. We have had nothing formal from the BCCI to suggest anything other than they're supportive," Hockley said.

"Both teams have wanted to play the schedule as we've set out," he added.

"There is always a controversy when India travels to Australia. These are mind games by the media and cricket fraternity in Australia. BCCI never had objected to any protocol set by CA. The Brisbane Test is very much on," the BCCI official added.

(With TOI inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 05 Jan, 2021

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