Over the past week, there have been numerous reports about the Indian team not willing to travel to Brisbane for the fourth Test if they are required to stay under stringent quarantine protocols. Further unconfirmed reports emerged on Thursday informing that the BCCI had officially written to Cricket Australia to advise them they do not want to travel to Brisbane.
However, Cricket Australia maintains that the board has not heard anything from their Indian counterparts since both the BCCI and Queensland Health agreed upon the plans for the Gabba Test on December 29. The biosecurity protocols for both the SCG and Gabba Tests are identical, with players allowed to leave their rooms to see one another but not their hotels for anything other than training and playing at the respective grounds.
According to Fox Sports, no formal communication has taken place since December 29 from any of the four BCCI office bearers to Cricket Australia. The office bearers in addition to president Sourav Ganguly are: Jay Shah (Secretary), Arun Singh Dhumal (Treasurer), Mahim Verma (Vice-President), Jayesh George (Joint Secretary).
It comes after Indian captain Ajinkya Rahane on Wednesday said a decision would be left to officials, not players.
“We as players, we are just focusing on this Test match. The Indian team management, they will take the decisions,” Rahane said.
“For us as players, it’s all about giving our best on the field.”
“The Test match is starting tomorrow (Thursday) so we are just focusing on that and we want to do well.”
The ongoing uncertainty surrounding the Gabba Test has led to tensions between the Indian and Australian camps with captain Tim Paine predicting
“It’s boiling away. There’s some stuff starting to happen, there’s a bit of chat starting to happen so I think this Test is going to be fascinating not just from a cricket point of view,” he said on Wednesday.
“There’s a bit of tension starting to boil under the surface with a lot of unnamed sources coming out from their camp saying where they want to play the fourth Test and where they don’t want to go. I think it’s starting to grind a few people so we’ll see how it goes.”
And in a move likely to further test the patience of Cricket Australia, Indian coach Ravi Shastri was photographed walking unmasked into the SCG on Wednesday.
Every player in the Indian squad wore masks in compliance with biosecurity measures but Shastri simply walked past security guards and into the team’s dressing room.