Two week quarantine period for Kohli’s men down under

By Kersi Meher-Homji

Test series between Australia and India arouses controversies galore during the tour. This season a controversy has begun before the tour! And blame COVID-19 for it.

According to Cricket Australia acting Chief Nick Hockley, India will have to undergo a two-week quarantine period, most likely in Adelaide, once they touch down in Australia for the much-anticipated tour 2020-21 tour.

According to Mid-Day (India), Hockley’s statement is in complete contrast to the views of BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, who had already made it clear that he was not in favour of a two-week quarantine period for the Indian team once they land in Australia. Following the official postponement of this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia, Hockley said all the players and support staff will be provided with the best of the facilities to train within quarantine rules.

“The two-week quarantine we are working on is making sure that even within that quarantine environment, the players have got the absolute best training facilities, so that their preparation for the matches is as optimal as it can possibly be,” Hockely was quoted as saying to ESPNcricinfo. “We’ll obviously take the guidance of the health experts and the authorities. Whether it’s a hotel on-site or hotels in close proximity to venues, it’s certainly about creating that environment where we are minimising risk of infections and creating a bio-secure environment which is the absolute priority.”

The website reported that not just the visiting Indian team but also the IPL-returned Australian cricketers will have to serve the mandatory quarantine period.

The current series between England and the West Indies marking the resumption of international cricket, is being played in a bio-secure environment with the teams’ accommodation arranged on-site. “There’s a huge amount at stake if we are unable to do that. Certainly the fact that the Adelaide Oval has a hotel… it does provide a facility not dissimilar to Old Trafford or Ageas Bowl where the hotels are integrated into venues”, said Hockley.

In these circumstances, the Adelaide Oval and its newly constructed hotel, built on the ground’s eastern side, is considered as the best place for creating a bio-bubble. But Hockley said with a rapid spike in COVID-19 cases in the Indian sub-continent leading to travel restrictions, the visiting teams will have to follow all the protocols laid down by the Australian government and the ICC.

“It’s widely known and it’s unlikely that international travel restrictions would have lifted by the time that India will be due to come into the country”, he said. “Clearly there will be testing regimes. We will be able to test people before they get on to the plane and it is the nature of the situation of making sure we have the quarantine arrangements in line with government and health authority protocols.

“The key thing for the players is that there’s regular testing and that we appropriately quarantine them when they come in and all of those plans are currently in development.” Now that that T20 World Cup is postponed, the BCCI is in all likelihood will hold the postponed IPL during the vacant September-November window, in all probability in the UAE.

“I think the BCCI have made no secrets that they are considering what that means for the IPL,” Hockley added. “For us it’s about getting a bit of an understanding and certainty around what that means. Clearly in a normal course, some of our best players are obviously top picks for those IPL teams.

“It’s a bit premature to speculate on that. We need to understand what the plans are if any and once we understand that top picks for those IPL teams. It’s a bit premature to speculate on that. We need to understand what the plans are if any and once we understand that we will make decisions accordingly.”

It is better to be careful than sorry.








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