Sydney: A new three-day lockdown in Brisbane has put Cricket Australia in a spot of bother as it makes desperate efforts to hold the fourth and final Test against India in the Queensland state capital from 15 January.
The Lockdown was announced less than 24 hours after top cricket board officials from India and Australia were engaged in a discussion on relaxation of hard quarantine measures for the visitors.
"Cricket Australia executives are urgently trying to determine the impact of a three-day lockdown in Brisbane on next week's fourth Test at the Gabba, which was already under a cloud because of India's hesitation to fly north and be subjected to tighter bio-security restrictions," the 'Sydney Morning Herald' reported.
"A hotel quarantine worker's positive test to the more contagious UK strain of COVID-19 is the latest spanner in the works for CA's hopes to close out the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series at the Gabba," it further wrote.
While Cricket Australia were ready to allow a capacity crowd of 36,000, the fluid health situation might warrant a change in the spectator policy.
"The health scare in the city, however, has left those attendance caps in jeopardy," the newspaper stated.
On Thursday, The BCCI wrote to CA seeking relaxation in hard quarantine protocol of Brisbane, reminding the host board that the visitors are done with the strict isolation that was agreed upon at the beginning of the tour.
The quarantine rules in Brisbane will restrict the players to just their hotel rooms after day's play.
CA has already verbally assured the Indians that "a deal" has been "signed off on by the Queensland government to allow players and staff out of their rooms to mingle together inside the hotel when not playing or training will remain in place for their week in the city."
However, it is learnt that BCCI wants a written assurance on the matter.
In case, Brisbane can't host the Test or Indians refuse to travel, Sydney will be the back up venue.
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It has been an emotional series for the 26-year-old, who lost his father in November and welled up with tears during the national anthems in Sydney.
Sundar was asked to stay back by the team management after the white-ball series to help as a net bowler but injuries to key players landed him in a mouth-watering duel with Smith on Friday.
What a tour this has been! To bounce back after MCG’s horror 36-all out, draw the Sydney Test and win at Gabba, Australia’s fortress, just shows the character of this team. And India were without Kohli, Bumrah, Shami, Ashwin, Jadeja. Still, to win by a 2-1 scoreline in Australia’s backyard teaches you a lesson – never write off this new-age Indian cricket team. India have plenty of reserves, each individual hungry to prove his mettle. In that respect, as Harsha Bhogle said, due credit must be given to the "finishing school that Rahul Dravid is." That’s it from us today. We hope you enjoyed our coverage of India’s Australia tour. This is Sameer Chhabra and Shubham Pandey signing off. Adios.