Melbourne: Five India Test players, including vice-captain Rohit Sharma, wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, rising openers Shubham Gill, Prithvi Shaw and Navdeep Saini have been put in isolation. An investigation has been set up for violating the bio-security COVID protocol by them, said Cricket Australia (CA) on Saturday.
After investigation, it has been revealed that the five players were found sitting at a table in a Melbourne restaurant in a video posted by a fan on Twitter. The person also said that he hugged Rishabh Pant but later abjured and said all social distancing norms were maintained.
“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, Shubham Gill, Prithvi Shaw and Navdeep Saini eating at an indoor venue in Melbourne on New Year’s Day,” Cricket Australia said in a statement.
Five Indian players — Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw & Navdeep Saini placed in isolation after video emerged on social media of group appearing to eat at an indoor venue in Melbourne.Potential breach of COVID protocols being investigated: Cricket Australia
— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2021
According to the bio-security COVID protocols, players are not allowed to eat in outdoor settings, ensuing the 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.” “…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.
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The BCCI brass had initially ruled out any probe after reports of a possible breach first surfaced, but CA’s late statement said a joint probe is on. “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, reported news agency PTI.
However, it has been learnt that the BCCI will back its players. The general consensus is that there hasn’t been any deliberate breach.
India and Australia are engaged in a four-Test series and the third match is due to start on January 7 in Sydney.