Latest Update On The Controversy Surrounding Indian Players, Starting XI For The Second Test Match And More: Report
The Cricket Australia-BCCI joint investigation on the violation of bio-secure bubble may involve other Indian players in addition to the five who visited the restaurant at Melbourne, a report said. The names coming up are of Indian regular skipper Virat Kohli and flamboyant all-rounder Hardik Pandya after the both were seeing visiting a shop.
Last week a video of the Indan players– Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Navdeep Saini, Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill– lunching at a restaurant went viral. A Twitter user posted the video saying he paid their lunch bill. While the video and tweets did rounds on Twitter, it landed the players into a investigation by Cricket Australia and BCCI.
What Was The Actual Issue And The Latest Cricket News?
A Sydney Morning Herald report on Monday said that Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya visited a baby store in Sydney in early December. It further went on to add that the pair breached the biosecurity protocols. They were not wearing masks inside the store. A store named ‘Baby Village’ in Sydney shared pictures of Kohli and Pandya visiting the shop.
A week or so later in Adelaide, a group of Indian players made a visit to an eatery Waffle and Coffee. This was said that a “couple of them went inside to order before they all sat down at a table outside”.
The Indian team, especially when the Test series lies at a 1-1, have been taking heat from Australian authorities. However, a BCCI official last week had clarified that the team will still fly together and the fourth Test at Brisbane is on.
What Cricket Australia said in a media release?
“The BCCI and CA together are investigating the matter at present. We are seeking to determine whether the outing constitutes a breach of biosecurity 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 traveling and at the training venue.”
More Cricket News And The Latest Update From The BCCI?
However, further, clarifying all the doubts that fans and the media had, a senior BCCI official told the PTI, “If you carefully read the statement that was made by Cricket Australia, they never said that it is a breach. They said that they are looking to determine if there was a breach. So there is no such restriction on the five players and they will be travelling with the team to Sydney. The entire team is flying together.”
“Had the gentleman who was in question not lied about hugging Rishabh Pant on Social Media, the mess would have actually not even happened. The players just went inside because it was drizzling. This fan shot a video at that point and then paid the bill (without permission). Nobody asked him to do so. Further, after that for publicity he put a screen grab of the bill and posted it online. You seriously want to tell me that Cricket Australia (CA) will be taking a decision of this magnitude, based on a purported video of a person (a fan). Someone, who first lied and then retracted his statement when probed into.”
The Latest Update From The Indian Camp
The players had been isolated and were tested for Covid. Fortunately, none of them had tested positive for it. Due to this, they were available for selection and were included in the match-day squad. Things look good for Team India, as the squad for the Third Test match was recently announced.
The players seem to have survived the inquiry and are good to go. This will be a huge boost for the fans of the Indian cricket team. The team has already lost skipper Virat Kohli due to personal commitments and quite a few bowlers to injury as well. The game could decide the fate of this series and hence is a crucial one.
India’s playing XI: Ajinkya Rahane (C), Rohit Sharma (VC), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin and Mohammed Siraj
Opener Rohit Sharma makes a return to the team in place of Mayank Agarwal. On the other hand, young players like Hanuma Vihari and Shubman Gill have been retained as well.
Mohammed Siraj, who was impressive in the previous match, retains his place in the squad too. Navdeep Saini will also be featuring in the team to replace the injured Umesh Yadav.