CA seeks clarity from India on Gabba Test

Scott Bailey
·3-min read

Cricket Australia have approached the BCCI for its official stance on the Gabba Test as confusion continues over the series finale in Brisbane.

Reports surfaced again on Thursday morning that India would push to move the Test away from Queensland, as their frustration over hotel quarantine grows.

India captain Ajinkya Rahane this week also refused to confirm if they would play in Brisbane next week, instead leaving the decision with team management.

That prompted CA to reach out to their Indian counterparts, with talks described by a source as positive on Thursday.

Australia's players on Thursday were adamant they still expected to go to Brisbane for the fourth Test, at a ground they have not lost on since 1988.

"Still definitely planning on playing at the Gabba," spearhead Mitchell Starc told Seven Network.

"I don't see any reason why we won't be."

The issue has now been bubbling along for more than a week after exemptions were granted to cross the now-closed border from Sydney into Queensland.

Tim Paine admitted on Wednesday he felt uncertain about the venue for the fourth Test because India "hold a lot of power in world cricket, it's likely that it could happen".

Speaking at the toss on Thursday, Paine declared his team is "happy to play anywhere, any time".

"Whatever happens off the field between the boards is out of our control," Paine said.

Rahane, asked about the speculation, replied: "We are just focusing on this Test".

It's understood CA presented its plans to the BCCI on December 29, which included players having to stay in hotel rooms in Sydney and Brisbane.

That is said to have been agreed to by Indian authorities at the time and has since been approved by Queensland Health.

CA has heard nothing from the BCCI since but has watched on as sources within the Indian camp complain about the set-up in Queensland.

The governing body wanted to know if those are the views of BCCI boss Sourav Ganguly, who has just been discharged from hospital after a heart scare, and secretary Jay Shah.

Quarantine conditions are effectively the same in Sydney and Brisbane, with players confined to their hotels but allowed out of their individual rooms.

The only difference is that those parameters are set by CA in Sydney, as opposed to the Queensland government in Brisbane.

India have also previously experienced Queensland's government stall on quarantine issues.

Notably, they believed they would be able to train while in their two-week hotel quarantine on arrival to the country, before a last-minute change would have denied that.

In turn, that saw them sent to Sydney in a move that effectively saved the summer.

But Cricket Australia pointed out on Thursday they had received signed approval that players would be able to mingle in the hotel and not be forced into their room.

India's other issue appears to be that they have already served two weeks in quarantine on arrival to Australia and cannot understand why there are further restrictions.

However, the situation has changed in Sydney since their arrival and when they played white-ball games in the city, given the recent outbreak and ensuing closure of state borders.