India vs Australia: Five Indian players placed under isolation as CA and BCCI investigate air-bubble breach

Melbourne: In what is called a potential breach of the COVID-19 protocols, five Indian players have been put under isolation as the Cricket Australia (CA) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) are investigating an incident that has emerged in a video on social media where five Indian players are eating at an indoor venue in Melbourne.

“The players – Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw and Navdeep Saini – have been separated from the Indian and Australian squads but will still train in accordance with the strict protocols that have been put in place to ensure the ongoing safety of all members of the Indian and Australian squads,” said CA on Saturday (January 2, 2021).

It added, “The BCCI and CA are investigating the matter and seeking to determine whether the outing constitutes a breach of biosecurity protocols. 

“In the interim, on the advice of the Australian and Indian medical teams, the aforementioned players have been placed in isolation as a precaution. This will include separating the group of players from the broader Indian and Australian squads when traveling and at the training venue.”

The incident came to fore after a fan video went viral, which shows Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Prithwi Shaw and Navdeep Saini sitting at a restaurant in Melbourne. While posting the video the fan said that he paid the bill for the players and that “Pant hugged him”. However, on Saturday, he reiterated saying there was no hug and players kept their distance.

“Clarification – Pant never hugged me it was all said in excitement we maintained social distance all thru:) Apologies for miscommunication,” he tweeted.

Watch the video: (Warning: The following tweet contains foul language)

According to Cricket Australia, players and staff are permitted to leave the hotel but must dine outdoors during the Melbourne leg of the tour.

The four-match Test series between Australia and India is being played amid a backdrop of biosecurity rules, which will get stricter when the squads travel to Sydney on Monday due to the rising COVID-19 cases in the city.

The third Test will begin on January 7 at SCG.

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Sagar Biswas

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