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India vs Australia: No New COVID Cases in Brisbane Boosts Chances of Hosting Fourth Test

The prospects of holding the fourth Test between Australia and India in Brisbane have received a boost with Queensland reporting no new COVID-19 cases after a hard lockdown.

India vs Australia: No New COVID Cases in Brisbane Boosts Chances of Hosting Fourth Test

The prospects of holding the fourth Test between Australia and India in Brisbane have received a boost with Queensland reporting no new COVID-19 cases after a hard lockdown.

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With uncertainty prevailing over the venue for the final Test of the series, Brisbane entered a three-day lockdown on Friday night after a cleaner at a quarantine hotel tested positive for the UK strain of COVID-19.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said discussions about the Test match are on.

"As I said yesterday and the day before, discussions are still happening,” Palaszczuk said.

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"And they are still positive."

After scoring a century on Friday in the third Test in Sydney, Steve Smith hoped the game would be held in Brisbane.

“To my knowledge, I don’t think anything has changed,” Smith said. “That’s not our decision to make.

“But we’d love to play at the Gabba, that’s for sure.”

Earlier, 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'.

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".

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

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.



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RankTeamPointsRating
1 New Zealand 3198 118
2 India 3765 118
3 Australia 3498 113
4 England 4326 106
5 South Africa 2499 96
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RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
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1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
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