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India vs Australia: Fate of Brisbane Test - 'Too Taxing to Travel and Be in Jail for Five More Days'

The BCCI has written to Cricket Australia seeking relaxation in hard quarantine protocol of Brisbane for the fourth Test to go ahead, as the Indian players are finding the restrictions 'too stressful'.

India vs Australia: Fate of Brisbane Test - 'Too Taxing to Travel and Be in Jail for Five More Days'

The BCCI has written to Cricket Australia seeking relaxation in hard quarantine protocol of Brisbane for the fourth Test to go ahead, as the Indian players are finding the restrictions 'too stressful'.

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ESPNcricinfo quoted a senior BCCI official as saying further restrictions will be too taxing on the players.

"It is too taxing for the boys, asking them to travel to Brisbane and be in the jail for another five days," the official told ESPNcricinfo.

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The BCCI had reminded the host board that the visitors are done with the strict isolation that was agreed upon at the beginning of the tour. It is learnt that a top BCCI executive has written to CA head Earl Eddings citing to him the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two boards on the modalities of the tour which never had any specification on two hard quarantines in separate cities. The Brisbane Test is due to start on January 15 and the quarantine rules will restrict the players to just their hotel rooms after day's play.

"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 PTI.

"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," he informed.

As far as Cricket Australia's communication is concerned, they have stated that players can mingle outside their room but only those who are residing on the same floor.

The Indian players have been put under hotel quarantine in Sydney, the venue for the ongoing third Test, and skipper Ajinkya Rahane made his displeasure evident when he spoke how it was "challenging to stay in hotel" when outside city looked "normal".

Meanwhile, the Brisbane Test is in further doubt after Queensland state officials announced a hard lockdown for at least three days due to a new COVID-19 case in Brisbane.

Both squads are due to travel to Brisbane on Tuesday, the day after Brisbane's stay-at-home restrictions are currently scheduled to end.

A cleaner at a quarantine hotel in Brisbane has tested positive for the highly contagious U.K. variant of COVID-19, prompting the state government to take drastic action.

"We are going to go hard and we are going to go early to do everything we can to stop the spread," Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Friday.

The restrictions begin at 6 p.m. on Friday and end at 6 p.m. Monday.

"This is incredibly serious. We are declaring that Greater Brisbane area a hotspot and I'm also asking my colleagues from other jurisdictions to also declare Greater Brisbane a hotspot until we get through this together," Palaszczuk said.

In case Queensland authorities don't budge, then the fourth Test could well be played in Sydney from the same dates but that remains a distant possibility as hectic parleys continue.

(With AP and PTI inputs)



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