ESPNcricinfo understands updated plans for Gabba Test were approved by BCCI office bearers on December 29
India have formally sought reassurance that the biosecurity bubble terms of their time in Sydney will not be tightened any further for the final Test in Brisbane.
A report on Thursday morning – day one of the SCG Test – said that the BCCI had officially written to CA to say it did not want to head to Brisbane. ESPNcricinfo understands while BCCI secretary Jay Shah signed off on the terms on December 29, the team management helmed by the coach Ravi Shastri have pressed for guarantees that they will not face tighter confinement if they leave New South Wales for Queensland.
The players are not confined to their rooms when at the team hotels in Sydney and Brisbane – which have been entirely booked out by CA – and are able to mingle in communal areas. The one difference is that the restrictions in Sydney are CA protocols while those in Brisbane are imposed by the Queensland government as the terms to allow exemptions to be granted.
In a development on Thursday that may become relevant to the broader arrangements for Test, Queensland recorded its first case of community transmission of Covid-19 in 113 days when a cleaner who worked a quarantine hotel in Brisbane tested positive for the UK strain of the virus which is more transmissible.
On the eve of the SCG Test Ajinkya Rahane, the India captain, said that quarantine was tough for the players. “We know that life outside in Sydney is completely normal but players are in quarantine, which is a challenge,” he said. “But we have to face it. We are not complaining about anything. We are just focusing on tomorrow’s game. And just want to start well tomorrow again.”
Australia captain Tim Paine had referenced the power India hold and suggested it could mean a late change to the schedule could be made. “I wouldn’t say [there’s] frustration, I’d just say a bit of uncertainty because when you hear things like that coming, particularly from India, who we know hold a lot of power in world cricket, it’s likely that it could happen.”
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo