BCCI, not team to make Gabba call: Ashwin

Rob Forsaith
·3-min read

Star spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is confident that India's cricket board will do the right thing by its players as speculation continues to swirl regarding whether the four-Test series will finish at the Gabba.

The visiting Test squad's reluctance to travel to Brisbane has been well documented during the past week.

The angst was triggered by concerns about restrictive biosecurity protocols and the fact that state government, rather than Cricket Australia (CA), will be in charge of arrangements.

Queensland's capital entering a three-day lockdown, in response to a quarantine hotel cleaner testing positive for the UK strain of COVID-19, did little to quell unease.

Brisbane's stay-at-home edict is set to end on Monday night, while Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk reported zero coronavirus cases on both Saturday and Sunday.

The Times of India has reported that the series finale will start in Brisbane on Friday as scheduled.

But Ashwin wouldn't confirm whether his team will fly north on Tuesday as planned, deferring to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after stumps on day four of the third Test.

Ashwin added that players "believe and trust" in the BCCI to do the right thing by them.

"The board decides what we do. The contracted players of the board, we just follow what the board says," the veteran said.

"I'm sure they will definitely work things out in the best interest of their team and the situation."

India legend Sunil Gavaskar said on the Seven Network that "if the decision is to go ahead with a match in Brisbane, the Indian team will be there".

Ponting, commentating alongside Gavaskar, called on the tourists to "get on with it".

"It looks like they are trying to find an excuse not to go to Brisbane," Ponting said.

"The Australians have actually been in a bubble longer than the Indians.

"We didn't hear anything about these Indian players worrying about quarantines or lockdowns in the middle of the IPL, did we?"

The BCCI's chief concern now reportedly relates to ensuring the Test squad can return home as soon as possible when the game at the Gabba ends.

India's next Test series starts at home against England on February 5.

The BCCI wants to do everything possible to give their players a break before they enter another biosecurity bubble after a taxing tour of Australia.

CA chief executive Nick Hockley, who spoke with members of India's support staff after play on day three of the third Test, won't rest easy until the visitors check into the Brisbane hotel.

The SCG looms as the most likely alternate venue for the fourth Test given both squads are in Sydney.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian indicated on Sunday that she was unaware of any back-up plans for Sydney to host another Test.

Palaszczuk noted "everything I am hearing is very positive" and the Gabba pitch was being prepared.

Queensland's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young, who has made it clear she will not adjust current quarantine exemptions for the Test squads, reiterated on Sunday that it was now a matter for CA and the teams.