BCCI President Sourav Ganguly's request for a shorter than mandated quarantine period for the Indian team in Brisbane, ahead of its tour of Australia, is likely to be rejected, said a report in the Sydney Morning Herald. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the rules of the game, which restarted with the Test series between England and the West Indies in July. Players have to be in quarantine for two weeks and be tested for the virus before they can take the field.
"Queensland health officials are set to make cricket's most powerful nation adhere to strict national protocols, details of which have delayed Cricket Australia announcing a revised schedule for its USD 300 million summer," the daily wrote in its report.
India is keen on a reduced quarantine and wants the players to be allowed to train in a bio-secure bubble instead of being restricted to a hotel room, which, the BCCI fears, can take a toll on the fitness of its players. "We just hope the number of quarantine days get reduced a bit. Because we don't want the players to go all that far and sit in hotel rooms for two weeks. It is very, very depressing and disappointing. We are looking at that, the quarantine thing," Ganguly had said in July.
The report added that the BCCI has filed an application, requesting that an extended playing squad, coaches, support staff and families land in Brisbane days after the final of the ongoing Indian Premier League in the UAE on November 10, which is under consideration. "Queensland Health is currently assessing an application received from the Indian cricket team. We will work directly with the team as the assessment progresses," a QH spokeswoman said.
India are set to travel to Australia with a jumbo squad comprising 23 to 25 playing members across formats considering the requirements of the series to be played in bio-bubble amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Test specialists Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari and the support staff led by head coach Ravi Shastri are likely to have a six-day quarantine in Dubai during the business end of the IPL before flying off to Australia.
It is understood that the two-sides will play the white-ball series before the Test with the three-match ODIs in Brisbane (tentatively November 26, 28 and 30) , followed by T20s at the Adelaide Oval (December 4, 6, 8).
The four-match Test series is slated to start on December 17. Recently, the New Zealand's women's team also had to go through a 14-day quarantine in Queensland, where it was allowed to train, before its series against Australia.