Australia vs India | Five India players in isolation after ‘protocol breach’

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Cricket Australia and BCCI launch joint investigation based on a video clip shared by a fan on Twitter

Five India cricketers, including vice-captain Rohit Sharma, have been placed in isolation as a precautionary measure following an alleged breach of biosecurity bubble in Melbourne on New Year’s Day.

Also read: BCCI says no breach of COVID-19 protocols, rubbishes Australian media reports

While Cricket Australia (CA) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have launched an investigation into the matter, The Hindu understands it would be premature to assume the five cricketers would be unavailable for the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, scheduled to begin in Sydney on January 7.

The incident came to light after a fan posted a video on his Twitter feed of Rohit, wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, pacer Navdeep Saini along with openers Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw dining at an indoor restaurant in Melbourne.

“The BCCI and CA are investigating the matter and seeking to determine whether the outing constitutes a breach of biosecurity protocols,” CA said in a statement on Saturday.

“In the interim, on the advice of the Australian and Indian medical teams, the aforementioned players have been placed in isolation as a precaution. This will include separating the group of players from the broader Indian and Australian squads when traveling and at the training venue,” the statement added.

While the BCCI hasn’t issued a formal update, a Board insider stressed that the issue should not be blown out of proportion.

According to him, players were verbally informed that squad members, despite being in a bio-bubble created to deal with the pandemic, could dine out in an indoor restaurant after prior intimation and information.

“It is being ascertained in Australia whether the players had obtained permission, so let’s wait for a day till the primary investigation is over. Every member of both the squads is required to clear two more COVID-19 tests before the next Test anyway, so it would be premature to say right now that these cricketers are in danger of missing out on the Test,” the source said.

The CA statement confirmed that all the players would be allowed to train in isolation. The BCCI official confirmed that if required, all five would travel to Sydney from Melbourne in isolation.

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