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Unnamed BCCI Official Claims Queensland Minister's 'Don't Come' Comment 'Bordered on Racism' And 'Seemed Rife With Hostility'

A BCCI official has said that the statement made by Bates portrays Indians in poor light and it is not a surprise that a rethink is on the cards.

Unnamed BCCI Official Claims Queensland Minister's 'Don't Come' Comment 'Bordered on Racism' And 'Seemed Rife With Hostility'

Even as India and Australia players left for Sydney from Melbourne today for the third Test starting January 7, the spotlight, unfortunately, continues to be on the fourth Test at Brisbane set for January 15. Uncertainty is looming large over the Test due to border restrictions arising out of a spike in Covid-19 cases in the NSW area and India had reportedly also expressed reservations over the strict quarantine protocols in Queensland. While Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley on Monday confirmed that there has not been a formal request for relaxation on protocols for their players from the BCCI, unnamed Indian board officials continue to fan the flame on this issue. Latest on this is a BCCI official claiming Queensland's Health Shadow Minister Ros Bates' recent comment boarded on racism' and 'seemed rife with hostility', and that rethink (not playing at Brisbane) is on the cards.

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Bates had said: “If the Indians don’t want to play by the rules, don’t come.” This was in response to media reports that said India has made it clear that they do not wish to go to Queensland due to strict Covid rules, on the other hand the Australian team seems to have no problem with it. Queensland’s Shadow Sports Minister Tim Mander also said, “If the Indian cricket team wants to spit the dummy and disregard quarantine guidelines in Brisbane for the fourth Test, then they shouldn’t come. The same rules must apply for everyone. Simple.”

Now, speaking to ANI, a BCCI official has said that the statement made by Bates portrays Indians in poor light and it is not a surprise that a rethink is on the cards. It is not verified if the official is part of the touring contingent in Australia, but is certainly someone in the know of developments in the last few days, as the agency puts it.

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"The statement made by the public representative portrays Indians in poor light and let me assure you, we do not want to do anything other than to abide by the rules, and Rohit Sharma's strict quarantine is a case in point," said the official, adding, "To try and propagate a view that we don't wish to follow the rules is unacceptable and the tone and tenor, in which it was said seemed rife with hostility and bordered on racism. It is, therefore, not a surprise that a rethink is on the cards.

"If a representative of the public does not want us there, it is hurtful and the last thing we want is to upset the Australian fans who have given us so much love and support over the years. We do not wish to make it difficult for them or for Cricket Australia," the official further said.

Last week BCCI was left answering more questions after five cricketers including Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant found themselves in an apparent quarantine breach situation after a fan posted a video of the five having a meal in a Melbourne restaurant. And expectedly, the Australian press went to town with the incident calling investigations into the breach, even as BCCI clarified that protocols were followed by the players.



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