India tour of Australia: Brisbane Test in serious doubt
The Indian cricket team has expressed their reluctance to travel to play the fourth and the final Test of the ongoing series against Australia in Brisbane.
The Queensland government shut down its border to New South Wales and are said to be pushing for harsher bio-security protocols.
The development has put the Brisbane Test in serious doubt, which is scheduled to be played from January 15 at the Gabba.
Earlier, five Indian players including vice-captain Rohit Sharma were placed in isolation after a video emerged of them eating at an indoor restaurant in Melbourne on New Year's Day. Rohit along with Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw and Navdeep Saini have all been separated from both the Test squads.
Reports have suggested that the Indian cricketers aren't keen on travelling to Brisbane if the players are forced to undergo quarantine.
The third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2021 will start at the Sydney Cricket Ground on January 7 and Team India has expressed their desire to play the final Test at the same venue.
In light of this, members of the Queensland government have stated that the visiting team should not enter the state if they are unwilling to coordinate with the protocols that have been laid out.
"If the Indians don't want to play by the rules, don't come," Queensland's Health Shadow Minister Ros Bates was quoted as saying by Fox Sports.
Furthermore, Queensland's Shadow Sports Minister Tim Mander said there's no room for ignoring the protocols and that every individual would have to go through the same drill.
"If the Indian cricket team wants to spit the dummy and disregard quarantine guidelines in Brisbane for the fourth Test, then they shouldn't come. The same rules must apply to everyone. Simple," Mander said.
On the other hand, Australia batsman Matthew Wade rejected the idea that there was uncertainty over the schedule.
"(There's) No uncertainty from our side...we understand that us as a group we will go to SCG (Sydney Cricket Ground) and then we'll go to Brisbane and play at the Gabba until powers that be knock on our doors and tell us that it is going to change.”
The left-handed batsman also gave an indication of stricter quarantine rules at Brisbane during a virtual media briefing.
"Brisbane will be a harder quarantine and bio-security bubble than what we have had here, that is for sure. That has been relayed to us. No one knows the finer details of it yet. But yes, it would be a strict protocol than here."
The ongoing four-match series is currently tied at 1-1, with the hosts winning the first Test in Adelaide, and India pulling off an eight-wicket victory at Melbourne.
Feature image courtesy: William WEST / AFP