Indian cricketers allegedly breaching COVID-19 restrictions in Melbourne

Much Ado about nothing… says BCCI

It all started with a tweet from a fan of Indian cricket team Navaldeep Singh with the Twitter name of NavalGeekSingh when he spotted five Indian cricketers at an eatery in Chadston. Rohit Sharma, the senior most of the lot was with Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill and Navdeep Saini. They were have a bite in their own world, quietly when Singh spotted them and started filming.

Singh, who was with his wife (presumably another diehard fan of the Indian cricketers), ordered some food for themselves when in fact they were not hungry but wanted to not miss a glimpse of their heroes. And when the time came to pay, Singh not only paid for himself, according to his tweet, he paid for the Indian cricketers as well.

Navaldeep Singh @NavalGeekSingh

When they got know that i have paid the bill.. Rohit sharma said bhaji pese lelo yaar acha nai lagta.. i said no sir its on me. Pant hugged me and said photo tabhi hogi jab pese loge wapis. I said no bro not happening. Finally sabane photo khichwai 🙂 mja aa gya yaar #blessed

Pant to my wife before leaving – Thank you bhabhi ji for the lunch

Having been pleasantly surprised, led by Rohit Sharma, the cricketers offered to pay Singh back when a little interaction took place and according to Singh, he snapped them up with his family and says he has uploaded the photograph on his Insta account.

Soon as the tweet from Singh went, the 3 second video went viral and the news of Indians (five of them) having presumably breached quarantine rules went viral. BT understands they were allowed to leave hotel and go and dine wherever they wanted, but only outdoors. Indoors, where they were (as they look) filmed, they were supposed to be wearing masks unless eating. As they are not see eating in the 3 second video, it can be twisted to claim a breach although the video needs to be interpreted perhaps for a longer than 3 second span.

Soon, the news of breach of COVID-19 bubble went viral. The ‘hard-working’ media even reported an investigation was underway both by the BCCI and Cricket Australia.

It is true that the five of them have been separately quarantining since their outing but all other bits of rumoured ‘investigation’ are untrue. BCCI has clarified there is no investigation pending as there was none being conducted.

Today, both teams have flown to Sydney where they will play the 3rd test matching beginning on Thursday, 7 January.

There have been reports that the Indians have expressed their unwillingness to fly to Brisbane for the 4th Test commencing on Friday January 15 because of stricter quarantining rules. The air is not clear on that but to provide a controversy where there is actually none, some of the Australian players have been blaming India of making excuses to not play in Brisbane as the Aussies have not lost a test match in Brisbane in the last 32 years. In essence they claim Indians do not want to play there for fear of losing the game and if they lost the Sydney test, they will not be able to square the series.

“From a cricket point of view, why would India want to go to the Gabba? No one wins at the Gabba, Australia plays really good cricket there and no one’s won for a really long time (besides the Aussies)” former Australia wicket-keeper batsman Brad Haddin told Fox Cricket.

“There’s a lot of moving parts here. The one thing is these guys have been in a bubble for a long, long time and they might just start to be getting a little bit tired. But you can’t move a Test match – if a state doesn’t have any virus – just because you’re over the quarantine,” Haddin added.

Pointing out that the Indians knew or ought to have known before leaving India that they might have to follow strict rules because of the Covid-19 pandemic, he added:

“You came to Australia knowing exactly what was going to happen … you knew there were restrictions, you knew this could’ve happened. Yes, it’s been a long time now they’ve been in quarantine first with IPL and now with the Australian summer.”

Haddin said the Australians were not complaining while the rules and restrictions for both teams would be the same.

“It’s the same with the Australian teams, we haven’t heard them whinge and they’ve just got on with it. To me, it just looks like they’re trying not to play at the Gabba,” he added.

Apart from these mind games, the allegations of COVID-19 breaches by the Indians and possible consequences thereof have been a storm in a teacup.

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