Team India unhappy with hotel quarantine ahead of Sydney Test

Team India won the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne last week to level the Test series at 1-1.
Team India won the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne last week to level the Test series at 1-1.

The Indian cricket team aren't happy with the fact that they will have to undergo hotel quarantine, while 20,000 fans will watch them play at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

A team insider compared their ordeals with "animals in a zoo" and said the visitors want to be treated as ‘normal Australian citizens’ following the government protocols.

A source from within the Indian team told Cricbuzz,

"We think it's contradictory if you are going to allow fans to come to the ground and enjoy that freedom, and then ask us as performers to go back to the hotel and quarantine. That is especially after we've been tested negative for the virus. We don't want to be treated like we are animals in the zoo."

The Indian contingent tested negative after undergoing a COVID-19 test on Sunday and flew out to Sydney from Melbourne on Monday.

The team source also revealed that Cricket Australia’s medical team informed the Indian team last week that they "couldn’t leave their respective floors" in Brisbane. Expectedly, the Indians refused to accept the conditions.

“It goes back to what we’ve said from the beginning. We want to follow the same rules as every Australian citizen in the country. So, if crowds weren’t allowed inside the ground, then it makes sense for them to ask us to quarantine inside the hotel.”

The source further said that the Indian team were not in favour of hotel quarantine and are willing to follow the government’s protocols, which means wearing masks while stepping out for a meal or completely avoiding ‘red zones’ and ‘hot spots’.

Team India reluctant to travel to Brisbane

Earlier, it was reported that Team India were reluctant to travel to Brisbane for the fourth Test as their movements would be restricted to the hotel and stadium. Reportedly, India want to play the final two Tests in Sydney.

On the New Year’s Day, a video from a fan showed five players (Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Navdeep Saini, Rishabh Pant and Prithvi Shaw) dining indoors in a restaurant in Melbourne. The incident snowballed into a controversy.

Speaking on the subject, the team insider said,

“The players only went indoors to eat because it started raining. We don’t understand why those five players need to be isolated or be asked to sit separately on the flight, especially after they have tested negative for the virus."

Most Team India members have been inside bio-bubbles for over four months now before the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020.

Highlighting their plights, the team source added that India made several sacrifices such as Mohammed Siraj not returning home for his father’s funeral.

The India-Australia Test series currently stands tied 1-1, with the third Test starting in Sydney from Thursday (January 7).

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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