‘BCCI entitled to protect team’: Gavaskar backs Indians amid new Gabba threat

Cricket Australia executives are urgently trying determine the impact of a three-day lockdown in Brisbane on next week's fourth Test at the Gabba, which was already under a cloud because of India's hesitation to fly north and be subjected to tighter biosecurity restrictions.

A hotel quarantine worker's positive test to the more contagious UK strain of COVID-19 is the latest spanner in the works for CA's hopes to close out the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series at the Gabba.

Indian great Sunil Gavaskar, in Australia commentating on the current series, says India’s governing body has the right to stand up for its players.Credit:Getty

But there were further reports of Indian concerns in the media on the subcontinent that quoted BCCI sources.

India great Sunil Gavaskar, who is in Australia commentating for Channel Seven, said the tourists were just "asking to be treated the same as everybody else".

“In Sydney, there are people coming to the ground and then going back and having dinner at a restaurant or having a gathering of 20, 30 people in a pub," Gavaskar said in commentary on Friday.

"What they're saying is they should also be allowed to do something similar. You could have a situation where the ball goes into the crowd, somebody from the crowd touches the ball. One can understand that. One can understand why they're feeling that way.

“The Queensland government is fully entitled to protect its people. Similarly I believe the Board of Control for Cricket India is fully entitled to protect its team. I think that’s something we should never forget.”

ESPNCricinfo quoted a BCCI official saying the Indians on the ground in Australia were worried about being confined by the Queensland government to their hotel rooms or floors and not being able to eat together.

"It is too taxing for the boys, asking them to travel to Brisbane and be in the jail for another five days," the official was quoted as saying.

Whether or not India will be further spooked by the sudden escalation of restrictions in Brisbane, the latest development appears unlikely to allay their fears.

Former CA chairman Bob Merriman predicted the BCCI would side with its players.

"My experience is India will do what the senior players want to do." said Merriman, who led the Australian board from 2001 to 2005.

"So I think you'll find it will come back to what the senior players in the Indian team are comfortable with. Therefore the Australian people have got the task of convincing the leading Indian players and particularly the captain of what they want to do."

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