Cricket Australia boss dismisses talk of India boycott of Brisbane test over quarantine rules
India are due to take on Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Thursday (January 7) before the four-match series – which is currently level at 1-1 – is scheduled to conclude at the Gabba in Brisbane on January 15.
Although Queensland has closed its border with New South Wales due to the coronavirus pandemic, players are being allowed to move from one state to the other permitting they adhere to bio-security protocols.
According to Australian media reports, India’s players are reluctant to travel to Brisbane for the final Test due to the stringent measures, having already gone into isolation upon arrival in Australia in November.
However, Hockley has rubbished suggestions of a boycott, insisting the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was “fully across” and “supportive” of the quarantine requirements in Queensland.
“We speak to our counterparts at the BCCI daily,” Hockley said.
“We’ve had nothing formal from the BCCI to suggest anything other than they’re supportive. Both teams have wanted to play the schedule as we’ve set out.”
Hockey’s comments come after Indian players Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant, Navdeep Saini and Prithvi Shaw were forced to self-isolate following a possible breach of COVID-19 protocols.
The BCCI and Cricket Australia have launched an investigation into the matter after a picture surfaced of the players at a restaurant in Melbourne.
In a report by Sky Sports, Australian spin bowler Nathan Lyon urged players from both sides to “stop complaining”.
“There’s a few people from both squads who have been in a bubble for close to six months now but in my eyes it’s a very small sacrifice,” said Lyon.
“Let’s just suck it up and get on with it.”
The crowd capacity for the third Test at the 48,000-seater SCG has been reduced by 25 per cent.
It was due to be half-filled, but tickets are now set to be reissued under new social distancing guidelines.
The move comes after a surge in coronavirus cases in Sydney over the festive period which led to some calls for fans to be banned.