Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley on Monday dismissed reports that the Indian team is reluctant to play the fourth Test in Brisbane because of stricter quarantine rules there. Hockley said the Indian cricket board was "fully across (and) supportive" of quarantine requirements in Queensland. "We speak to our counterparts at the BCCI daily," he told reporters.
"We've had nothing formal from the BCCI to suggest anything other than they're supportive. Both teams have wanted to play the schedule as we've set out," he asserted.
The third Test in the four-match series is scheduled to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground from Thursday. The series is locked at 1-1 right now.
The fourth game is due from January 15 at the Gabba. The Australian media has claimed that the Brisbane Test is in jeopardy because of the tourists' reluctance to travel there in view of harder quarantine rules, having already served one upon entering Australia in November. The reports, citing unnamed sources, claimed that the Indian team wanted the fourth Test to be also held in Sydney.
Queensland has closed its borders for people travelling from New South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital, due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in the city and surrounding areas. Both the Indian and Australian teams travelled to Sydney on Monday after all their players and support staff returned negative in latest round of COVID-19 tests.
Hockley's statement came two days after five Indian players -- vice-captain Rohit Sharma, opener Shubman Gill, stumper Rishabh Pant, pacer Navdeep Saini and batsman Prithvi Shaw -- were placed in isolation for an alleged breach of bio-security protocols. Cricket Australia, in a media release, said it is probing the matter jointly with the BCCI after a video of the players at an indoor restaurant was posted by a fan, who identified himself as Navaldeep Singh on Twitter.
Earlier in the day, Australia's leading spinner Nathan Lyon had called on players from both teams to "get out there and play the game" instead of worrying over things that are beyond their control. "I am not really worried about what's being reported, it is for us to worry about what we can control and the information that we are receiving from the people at Cricket Australia and the medical people," Lyon had said.
"It is just about us making sure that we are very well prepared for the Sydney Test, everyone keeps talking about the Gabba Test.
"But there is a massive Test match in just couple of days at the SCG and that is where our focus is 100 per cent at the moment," the veteran off-spinner added.