Venerable batting great Sunil Gavaskar has backed the Indian team and the BCCI in the ongoing saga surrounding the venue for the fourth Test in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Gavaskar said the BCCI is "fully entitled" to look for its team's interests and protect its players during the pandemic.
The Gabba, Brisbane is the original venue for the fourth Test, which is slated to start on January 15th. However, the Queensland government has asked the Indian team to undergo a mandatory quarantine after reaching there from Sydney.
The BCCI, on its part, has shown open reluctance to play at the venue if the players have to go through a hard quarantine first. Today, the board also officially communicated the same to Cricket Australia (CA).
Weighing on the impasse while commentating for Channel Seven, Sunil Gavaskar noted the government's point but backed the BCCI to protect its team as well.
“The Queensland government is fully entitled to protect its people. Similarly, I believe the Board of Control for Cricket India is fully entitled to protect its team. I think that’s something we should never forget,” said Sunil Gavaskar.
The Australian cricket fraternity, including captain Tim Paine had taken a different approach on the issue. They had alluded that the BCCI has "power" in world cricket and they can get their way in the issue.
"Indians are asking to be treated similarly to Australian citizens" - Sunil Gavaskar
Earlier, Indian captain, Ajinkya Rahane had remarked that the team's stay in the bio-secure bubble was challenging when life was normal outside. Speaking on the same lines, Sunil Gavaskar said the Indian team only want to be treated as Australian citizens.
“In Sydney, there are people coming to the ground and then going back and having dinner at a restaurant or having a gathering of 20, 30 people in a pub. What they're saying is they should also be allowed to do something similar. You could have a situation where the ball goes into the crowd, somebody from the crowd touches the ball. One can understand that. One can understand why they're feeling that way," added Sunil Gavaskar.
In what could add to the BCCI's side of the argument, Brisbane has been put under a three-day lockdown recently. For now, CA is keen to follow the original schedule. However if they are ultimately forced to change the venue, Sydney and Melbourne could be in consideration to host a rare second Test in a series.Published 08 Jan 2021, 08:28 IST