‘India will do what players want’: Former CA boss weighs in on Gabba drama
As the Gabba Test was again in danger on Thursday amid continued grumbling from the tourists about tighter biosecurity restrictions, a former Cricket Australia chairman said he believed the Indian hierarchy would "do the what the senior players want".
CA officials had hoped a lid would be put on the murmuring of discontent within the visiting dressing-room when the Queensland government said earlier this week that the players would be able to mingle inside the team hotel while they were not playing or training in Brisbane.
Indian fans arrive at the SCG on Thursday.Credit:James Brickwood
“My rules are the standard rules I’ve used for sporting teams right from the start and they’ve worked very successfully for us," Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young said. "So that’s what we’ll continue to do."
She said whether India ultimately travelled to Brisbane was "something between Cricket Australia and the Indian cricket board for them to work through”.
Uncertainty over what the Indians would do was further fuelled by coach Ravi Shastri walking into the SCG on match eve without a mask on and captain Ajinkya Rahane refusing to rule out a refusal to fly north, saying such issues were the responsibility to team management.
India captain Ajinkya Rahane.Credit:Getty Images
If India insisted on bypassing Brisbane, the alternative finale to the tour would be a second Sydney Test in a row or the worst-case scenario of the tourists packing up and flying home early.
Talk of India wanting to skip the Gabba has prompted questions about whether it is Australia's 33-year unbeaten record at the ground they want to avoid, with former England captain Michael Vaughan asking whether it was "COVID restrictions or the pitch in Brisbane they are concerned about".
However, former Australia captain Ian Chappell said he could understand the position of India, who spent 14 days in quarantine in Sydney when they arrived in Australia in November.
"If they're going to be restricted to tight quarantining, I'm not surprised they're going to buck at it after having done what they needed to," Chappell told Nine's Wide World of Sports. "Having gone through what they've gone through, to then have to go through a hard lockdown right at the end, it would be hard."
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