Australia vs India Brisbane Gabba Test, Queensland Government should relax COVID rules


Indian media says all its cricket players have asked for ahead of a trip to Brisbane for the Fourth Test is to be able to eat meals and mingle together inside their team hotel.

The Gabba series finale hangs in the balance as the visitors dig their heels in over a requirement to complete a second hard quarantine after initially isolating for 14 days when they arrived in Australia last year.

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A COVID outbreak in NSW in December prompted the Queensland Government to close its borders to Sydney, forcing an escalation of the restrictions placed on the movement of both the Australian and Indian cricket teams when they head north after the SCG Test.

Reports from the subcontinent on Thursday night claim India’s cricket board has written to Cricket Australia to request a relaxation of some of the conditions.

“The discussions are still on but today BCCI has formally sent a letter seeking relaxation of hard quarantine for its players if they are to have the match in Brisbane,” a senior BCCI official told the Press Trust of India.

“The MoU that was signed never mentioned about two hard quarantines. India have done one hard quarantine in Sydney (practice and back to hotel room),” he added.

“The BCCI’s demand is simple. The players want to mingle with each other inside the hotel bio-bubble like they did in the IPL. They want to have their meals together inside the hotel and also have the team meetings together. That’s not a big demand.”

A News Corp Australia report suggests the demands will be met.

Veteran cricket scribe Robert Craddock said Cricket Australia had told the Indian team they would be able to mingle at the hotel, but the visitors want it in writing because of concern police will be stationed outside their rooms like they were during their initial quarantine.

Queensland’s chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young has also said the teams could come together freely inside their hotel but said the Australian and Indian Test teams would be required to operate within a bubble for the upcoming Gabba Test.

She said it would be the same protocols that governed AFL and Suncorp Super Netball players and officials last year.

“My rules are the standard rules I‘ve used for sporting teams right from the start and they’ve worked very successfully for us, so that’s what we’ll continue to do,” Ms Young told reporters.

She had the full support of Ms Palaszczuk, who said it was up to Cricket Australia to negotiate with the Indian side.

“My understanding is that all of the conversations that are happening are very positive, so I don’t have any concerns at the moment,” Ms Palaszczuk

“That’s (bubble concerns) a matter between Indian cricket team and Cricket Australia.

“But from our point of view, the same measures that have been put in place, where we have successfully hosted a number of events including the AFL, have stood Queensland in good stead.

“The rules still apply and conversations are still happening.

“This is about making Queenslanders safe, and if Dr Young has put in specific rules then they need to be abided by.”

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