India vs Australia: The fourth Test at the Gabba is scheduled to begin on January 15.© Cricket.com.au/Twitter
A new three-day lockdown in Brisbane has put Cricket Australia in a spot of bother as it makes desperate efforts to hold the fourth and final Test against India in the Queensland state capital from January 15. The lockdown was announced less than 24 hours after top cricket board officials from India and Australia were engaged in a discussion on relaxation of hard quarantine measures for the visitors. “Cricket Australia executives are urgently trying to determine the impact of a three-day lockdown in Brisbane on next week’s fourth Test at the Gabba, which was already under a cloud because of India’s hesitation to fly north and be subjected to tighter bio-security restrictions,” the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ reported
“A hotel quarantine worker’s positive test to the more contagious UK strain of COVID-19 is the latest spanner in the works for CA’s hopes to close out the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series at the Gabba.”
While Cricket Australia were ready to allow a capacity crowd of 36,000, the fluid health situation might warrant a change in the spectator policy.
“The health scare in the city, however, has left those attendance caps in jeopardy,” the newspaper stated.
On Thursday, the BCCI wrote to CA seeking relaxation in hard quarantine protocol of Brisbane, reminding the host board that the visitors are done with the strict isolation that was agreed upon at the beginning of the tour.
The quarantine rules in Brisbane will restrict the players to just their hotel rooms after day’s play. CA has already verbally assured the Indians that “a deal” has been “signed off on by the Queensland government to allow players and staff out of their rooms to mingle together inside the hotel when not playing or training will remain in place for their week in the city.”
However, it is learnt that BCCI wants a written assurance on the matter. In case Brisbane can’t host the Test or Indians refuse to travel, Sydney will be the back up venue.
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