03 Jan

The Queensland government maintained on Sunday (3 January) the Australian and Indian teams will have to isolate while in Brisbane for the fourth Test. 

Australia want to close out the Test series at the Gabba, arguing for the series schedule to remain as it is with the third game in Sydney, starting on Thursday, and the fourth at the Gabba from next week. 

The Indians prefer not to travel to Brisbane for the final leg of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy campaign if it means they have to be holed up in their hotels while not playing or training. 

That is the scenario confronting both sets of players and support staff unless Queensland, which has shut its border to NSW, amends restrictions on visitors from its southern neighbour before the fourth Test begins on January 15. 

"If they come to Queensland after having been in declared hotspots, they will have to quarantine," Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young said on Sunday. Young said final arrangements for players in Brisbane were being made but they would not be able to leave their hotel while they were in the city unless they were playing or training. 

According to CA, officials from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had on Sunday afternoon not raised concerns about returning to living under tighter restrictions in Brisbane after months in a bubble or quarantining and had also been told last week about the enhanced biosecurity demands in Queensland. 

Given India's enormous influence, the objections have heightened the chances that the SCG could now stage the final two Tests of the series within four days of each other. 

Australian batsman Matthew Wade said players had not been told the finer details of what the biosecurity protocols would be in Brisbane, but with the virus re-emerging in Sydney they have been made aware they will be more restrictive than the rules they have had to adhere to in Adelaide and Melbourne. 

"I'm sure there is [apprehension] for some players," Wade said of restrictions being ramped up again, particularly in Brisbane. "We'd all love to be running around outside, as everybody in Australia would love to be doing that right now. We all knew were going to get some curveballs and this is one of them." 

Five India players are currently isolating as a precaution after a video on social media showed them eating indoors at a Melbourne restaurant. Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw and Navdeep Saini - all part of India's Test squad to play Australia - will be isolated from other players but are still able to train.

Both teams are investigating to determine whether bio-secure protocols for the tour have been breached. 

John Stephenson 


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