5 Indian players, including Rohit, in isolation; probe into possible breach of Covid protocol: CA
Melbourne: Five India Test players, including vice-captain Rohit Sharma, rising opener Shubman Gill and wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, have been put in isolation and an investigation launched into a possible breach of the bio-security protocol by them, Cricket Australia said on Saturday.
While BCCI brass had initially ruled out any investigation on its part, Cricket Australia's recent statement said a joint probe is on and the five have been isolated from the remaining team after a fan put out a video of them eating at an indoor restaurant on Twitter. The person claimed that he had hugged Pant but later retracted.
"The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket Australia (CA) were today alerted to a video post on social media that purported to show Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw and Navdeep Saini eating at an indoor venue in Melbourne on New Year's Day," CA said in a statement.
India and Australia are engaged in a four-Test series right now and the third match is due to start on January 7 in Sydney. As per protocol, players are allowed to eat out in outdoor settings, following social distancing norms.
"The BCCI and CA are investigating the matter and seeking to determine whether the outing constitutes a breach of bio-security protocols."
The isolation protocols were put in place after consulting with medical teams.
"...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 travelling and at the training venue," CA further stated.
However, the players will be permitted to train in accordance with the protocols that have been put in place.
Questions are now being raised as to whether the administrative manager and the cricket operations point person, who are looking after all the modalities, were aware about the players' movement and made them aware about the specific rules for dining out.
Rohit had recently completed 14 days of hard quarantine in Sydney and started training in Melbourne only a couple of days back.