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Five Indian cricketers kept in isolation for potentially breaching COVID-19 protocols

The BCCI and the Australian board have started a joint investigation to check if the players breached the biosecurity protocols.

SNS | New Delhi |

Five Indian cricketers – Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant, Navdeep Saini and Prithvi Shaw – have been kept in isolation after a video of them emerged eating out.

The players, though, will train “in accordance with the strict protocols that have been put in place to ensure the ongoing safety of all members of the Indian and Australian squads,” Cricket Australia said in a media release.

The BCCI and the Australian board have started a joint investigation to check if the players breached the biosecurity protocols.

“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket Australia (CA) were today alerted to a video posted on social media that purported to show Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw and Navdeep Saini eating at an outdoor venue in Melbourne on New Year’s day,” the media release read.

“The BCCI and CA are investigating the matter and seeking to determine whether the outing constitutes a breach of biosecurity protocols.”

“In the interim, 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,” the CA release added.

It had come to notice that the cricketers had “hugged” a fan while dining out in Melbourne, where team India are currently lodged before the third Test against Australia begin in Sydney on January 7.

Even though the cricketers are allowed to dine out, the bio-bubble rules set by CA state that strict social distancing needs to be maintained. The team members have also been directed to avoid indoor places outside the bubble.

Reportedly, the fan apologised for his statement and clarified that he did not hug any cricketer and all of them maintained physical distancing.

Official communication from both BCCI and CA is awaited. If the players are found guilty of breaching the COVID-19 protocols, all of them would be sent to mandatory quarantine, meaning absence from the Sydney Test.

Meanwhile, India on Tuesday defeated Australia by eight wickets in the Boxing-Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Cricket Ground to level the four-match series 1-1.

Set a target of 70 after Australia were dismissed for 200 in their second innings on Tuesday, the Indians got to the target for the loss of opener Mayank Agarwal (5) and No. 3 Cheteshwar Pujara (3).

Shubman Gill, who hit seven fours in a delightful innings, was unbeaten on 35 and skipper Ajinkya Rahane on 27.