Amid concerns over the fourth Test at The Gabba in Brisbane due to mandatory quarantine and tighter bio-security restrictions, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar said that the Board of Control for Cricket in India is fully committed to protecting its team. Gavaskar mentioned that players are required to stay in a bubble but the crowds are allowed in the stands despite the curbs on mass gathering at public places. A full crowd of 36,000 per day had been permitted for the final Test. The health scare in the city, however, has left those attendance caps in jeopardy. Also Read - SL vs ENG Highlights, 2nd Test Report: Angelo Mathews Century Puts Sri Lanka Ahead vs England on Day 1
The 71-year-old Gavaskar on Friday said that BCCI is correct in ‘protecting its players’ by seeking a quarantine relaxation ahead of the final Test just like Queensland health authorities are entitled to shield their people in the wake of fresh COVID-19 cases in Brisbane. Also Read - PM Narendra Modi Hails Team India; Says It Overpowered a Better Team With Their Talent And Temperament
The BCCI has already written to Cricket Australia for relaxation of hard quarantine in Brisbane and the home board has given verbal assurances. However, a new three-day lockdown in Brisbane has cast a shadow over the game scheduled from January 15. Also Read - IND vs AUS 2021: Bharat Arun Reveals Team India's Success Mantra Against Australia, Credits Neil Wagner For Inspiring Them to Bowl Short
“The Queensland government is fully entitled to protect its people. Similarly, I believe the BCCI is fully entitled to protect its team. I think that’s something we should never forget,” Gavaskar said during commentary on Channel 7.
“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 that the Indian team is not unjustified in demanding that if the players are together at the ground for 10 hours, they should be at least allowed to mingle in the hotel.
“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. One can understand that. One can understand why they’re feeling that way,” added Gavaskar.
Earlier, Queensland’s Health Shadow Minister Ros Bates’ comments regarding quarantine guidelines for the fourth Test in Brisbane did not go down too well with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as it felt that the team’s image was shown in poor light.