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There is a point to BCCI’s reluctance and it is not Gabba factor


There is a truism to every Australian life. It is fast and dynamic, yet it is slow and breath-taking. The contrast is a systematic nonchalance of an Aussie youngster, riveting through the frugal dichotomy. But then comes Gabba, of fire and brimstone. It is the Gabbatoir and you better beware.

The Gabba is the epitome of everything excellent about life in Australia and not just their cricket team. It is a fortress, anyway. From Allan Border to Ricky Ponting, from Steve Waugh to Michael Clarke, and then to Steve Smith, Australia have had an enviable record at the venue – with the opposition always being under the pump while turning up in Brisbane.

Thus it is natural to expect the Aussies to irk out when the Indian team complained about the hard quarantine rule imposed by Queensland authorities when the Indian team had to be confined to their room in the hotel or to the small bubbles. It is after all, they have never won there.

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“I know there are a few people from both squads who have been in a bubble for close to six months now, but in my eyes, it’s a very small sacrifice for us to get out there and play the game that we love and put a lot of smiles on a lot of people’s faces around the world,” Nathan Lyon said on Monday (January 4).

“It (bio-secure environments) has all been okay in my eyes. We just need to suck it up and get on with it. People make mistakes, we get that. But it’s just making sure we go out there and worry about what’s happening and try and prepare the best way we can for a Test match, and not look too much into anything else that the media’s blowing up.

“We’ve got to listen to the advice of our medical people, here at Cricket Australia we’re lucky we’ve got an amazing medical team but let’s just suck it up and get on with it and stop complaining.”

Matthew Wade echoed a similar statement. “We all knew we were going to get some curveballs and this is just one of them. The schedule has been rolled out and we’d prefer to stick to that. I would expect just to go to the Gabba regardless, (even) if that is more of a quarantine-based (situation), we fully expect to be going to Brisbane to play the Gabba Test.”

India fair on Gabba question

You’d imagine why Australia is being so protective about Brisbane while India is so keen to avoid. From a figurative standpoint, it is the history that comes to the head straightaway – India have never won a game there and with four top pacers – Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav – ruled out, India have understandably weak in their department to challenge the Aussies at Brisbane where dynamism takes precedence over survival.

But it is much more than that and the statements issued by an Indian team insider to Cricbuzz speaks a story. “We think it’s contradictory if you are going to allow fans to come to the ground and enjoy that freedom, and then ask us as performers to go back to the hotel and quarantine. That is especially after we’ve been tested negative for the virus. We don’t want to be treated like we are animals in the zoo,” the source told Cricbuzz.

Rohit Sharma

“It goes back to what we’ve said from the beginning. We want to follow the same rules as every Australian citizen in the country. So, if crowds weren’t allowed inside the ground, then it makes sense for them to ask us to quarantine inside the hotel,” he added.

India have made a lot of sacrifices to be in Australia and ensurE the cricket board sail through the summer to protect their financial standing. When the pandemic struck, CA were clueless about their coffers and India ensured their deal with Channel 7 was delivered without any hiccups.

A part of the deal, India wanted to be treated as “normal Australians” and CA agreed to do so. And now the point that India raised has been on similar accord needs to be respected if the situation is logical enough.

If Melbourne and Adelaide can give them the leniency, what is the point of sticking to SCG Test and now going for a hard lockdown in Brisbane.

Sure enough, Australia want to enjoy their conditions but these are unprecedented times too and one that needs thinking on its feet. Cricket can not be played in difficult situations when there are better opportunities in place.