Brisbane’s snap coronavirus lockdown raised fresh concerns over the final cricket Test on Friday as India insisted they should avoid quarantine in the Australian city.
The three-day lockdown, starting on Friday, over a single case of the infectious UK strain follows days of reports that India are unhappy about having to undergo another round of isolation.
Australia and India are currently playing the third Test in Sydney and are due to travel north to Queensland for the final game starting on 15 January.
“We have written to CA (Cricket Australia) asking them to relax the quarantine rule in Brisbane,” a Board of Control for Cricket in India official told AFP.
“The team has already undergone isolation after landing in Australia from the UAE (after the Indian Premier League in November).”
Queensland state authorities said the Brisbane Test was “not impacted” by the new lockdown. Australia’s different states set their own coronavirus restrictions.
“Queensland Cricket and Cricket Australia will continue to work with the Queensland government to ensure the Test is delivered safely,” a statement said.
Batting great Sunil Gavaskar said India’s players want to enjoy the same freedoms as other people in Australia.
“In Sydney, there are people coming to the ground and then going back and having dinner at a restaurant or having a gathering of 20, 30 people in a pub,” Gavaskar said during commentary for Channel Seven on Friday.
“What they’re saying is they should also be allowed to do something similar. You could have a situation where the ball goes into the crowd, somebody from the crowd touches the ball.”
The former captain added: “The Queensland government is fully entitled to protect its people. Similarly, I believe the BCCI is fully entitled to protect its team.”
The tour has been hit by several virus-related problems, with spectator numbers severely limited in the ongoing Sydney match due to an outbreak in the city.
The Melbourne Test was named a possible Covid-19 spreading event, and five Indian players were caught apparently breaching the biosecurity bubble by eating at a restaurant.
The series is level at 1-1 after India bounced back from their opening loss to beat the hosts in the Boxing Day Test.