India reluctant to travel Brisbane for the final Test; CA unwilling to arrange a replacement venue

BCCI earlier addressed a letter to CA stating India is reluctant to travel Brisbane for the fourth Test.

Team India
Team India. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

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The Indian team’s reluctance in playing the last Test of the Border-Gavaskar against Australia, starting from January 15 at the Gabba in Brisbane, has increased considering that Brisbane reported a confirmed case of the UK strain of Covid-19. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) feels that going to Brisbane can hamper India’s schedule of playing an elaborated tour against England back home.

The UK strain of Covid-19 is quite dangerous and the governments across the globe are taking necessary precautions to curb its spread in their respective countries. In the same light, the Indian government has made it mandatory for all the passengers travelling from the UK to New Delhi to serve a week long quarantine period even if they test negative for the virus.

Also, the passengers have to follow a further week of quarantine at home ( there is scope for exemption for those with connecting flights). Though the government hasn’t applied any such rules for the people traveling from Australia to India, the Indian board fears that the three-day lockdown in Brisbane might compel the Indian authorities to apply the same rules for Australia.

Difficult to arrange a replacement venue for final Australia vs India Test: CA

If that happens then the entire schedule of India for the coming month will get disturbed. India are scheduled to fly out of Australia, the day after the end of the Test series. The Men in Blue will then lock horns against England at home from February 5 to March 28 for a four-match Test series followed by five T20Is and three One Day Internationals.

Apart from this, Indian cricketers aren’t happy with their travel to Brisbane owing to the harsh quarantine rules by the Queensland government. It is reported that the players might be confined to their hotel rooms in Brisbane and will only be allowed to travel to stadiums. However, the Cricket Australia (CA) cleared that that the teams are free to mingle around within the hotel in designated areas.

Also, CA told BCCI that it will be difficult for them to arrange a replacement venue for the final Test as many grounds in Australia are preoccupied in hosting the 2020-21 edition of the Big Bash League. In such scenarios, the only place left is Sydney, where the two teams are playing the third Test, but no request has been made to prepare a second pitch at SCG.