Indian officials have reportedly told Cricket Australia that they don’t want to play the fourth Test in Brisbane because of fears the highly infectious UK strain of COVID-19 could jeopardise their home series against England.
The Australian reported that Indian officials also expressed concerns “about travelling to a city that is currently in a hard lockdown” but were willing to play the fourth Test at another venue.
India is currently struggling after three days of the third Test in Sydney, with the Border-Gavaskar series locked at 1-1.
India has also made complaints of racial abuse towards star players Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj from spectators in what is becoming a highly charged and volatile situation.
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Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has ordered new restrictions and an urgent contact tracing operation is underway after it was confirmed a quarantine hotel worker who tested positive to coronavirus has contracted the virulent UK strain of the virus.
“Cricket Australia is confident however that the tour will proceed,” The Australian reported.
“The latest objection comes after the Indian camp had tried to use changes in hotel restrictions as an objection to travelling to Brisbane.
“Cricket Australia had just eased India’s concerns over quarantine arrangements in Brisbane before the BCCI changed tack.
“Interim Cricket Australia chief Nick Hockley held an ad-hoc after-stumps meeting with Indian team officials over the fence at the SCG last night, with a final decision on the fate of the Gabba Test looming large.
“Hockley and Cricket Australia Chairman Earl Eddings have been locked in urgent talks with BCCI boss Sourav Ganguly, who is out of hospital after a heart attack and now participating in resolving the situation.”
The report said D-Day could be Sunday with a final determination possible.