Ahead of India’s tour of Australia, cricket authorities will come together with Queensland government and health officials on Monday to work through some points of disagreement.
According to a report in The Australian, the Queensland government has said that players have to serve a full 14-day quarantine period and would not be allowed to train in that period. Any positive tests for COVID-19 would see the entire group serve another quarantine period, the report added and further clarified that Health department sources had told them that there was no chance the cricketers could quarantine in a Brisbane hotel and train at the Allan Border field as planned.
A compromise could be offered at the meeting if cricket can, as the AFL did, find a resort where they can stay and train but the players have to be “entirely isolated from the general public”.
The Queensland government is in no mood to make any special deals ahead of the election on October 31 and there are concerns no agreement will be reached before that date. The players, who are currently in UAE for the IPL, would be flown straight to Brisbane before the first ODI in late November.
“Queensland Heath are pushing back on Cricket Australia,’’ The Australian quoted a source as saying.
“They don’t think there is a safe way to allow training while in quarantine, and it is very unlikely approval will be given to any of the arrangements proposed. Cricket Australia has been arguing that the players have already been in a bubble in the UAE. But Queensland Health’s view is that the bubble has not been as strict as the ones put together for the footballers in Queensland, and there is a risk to the cricketers.
“We are likely to insist on the teams going into full quarantine and then they go play the first Test.’’
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young, who has led the state’s successful COVID response, has been assessing the Cricket Australia plan.
The families of the Indian cricketers will also have to go into full — and separate — quarantine, although they will first have to secure special consideration to leapfrog the existing list of Australians wanting to return home.
“That will be up to the feds, and might be tricky given here are tens of thousands of people on that list and they are coming from a country with a high prevalence of the virus."
The report also added that there is a possibility of the Indian team quarantining somewhere else and the white ball series also being moved to another venue.
When contacted by The Australian late on Sunday night, Cricket Australia, released a statement from interim CEO Nick Hockley.
“We have been in constant discussions with Queensland government regarding our detailed proposal to quarantine the Indian and Australian men’s squads ahead of the 2020-21 summer of cricket. To date we haven’t received notification of any concerns about our plans which were submitted over a month ago.
“The discussions with the Queensland government have been built on the same quarantine and biosecurity protocols established during the highly successful Australia-New Zealand women’s series in Brisbane.
“This is an extremely detailed and complex plan that places the health and safety of the community, players and staff as paramount.
“We thank the BCCI for their understanding as we work through these complexities and we look forward to hosting a great summer of cricket.”