India cricketers Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Navdeep Saini and Prithvi Shaw have been put in isolation as both the Australian and Indian cricket boards launched an investigation into a video in which they are seen sitting indoors in a restaurant and suspected to be in breach of Cricket Australia’s bio-security protocols.
“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket Australia (CA) were today alerted to a video post on social media that purported to show Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw and Navdeep Saini eating at an indoor venue in Melbourne on New Year’s Day,” a statement from Cricket Australia said.
“The BCCI and CA are investigating the matter and seeking to determine whether the outing constitutes a breach of biosecurity protocols,” the statement added.
“In the interim, on the advice of the Australian and Indian medical teams, the aforementioned players have been placed in isolation as a precaution. This will include separating the group of players from the broader Indian and Australian squads when traveling and at the training venue,” it added.
The five players are shown sitting indoors in Secret Kitchen Noodles & BBQ restaurant in Melbourne, when the permission is only to eat outdoors. Although players are allowed to eat in restaurants, they should be seated outdoors unlike the Indian cricketers.
The staff at the restaurant confirmed to Australian newspapers, Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, that the players had visited the restaurant and sat indoors.
“Players will be permitted to train in accordance with the strict protocols that have been put in place to ensure the ongoing safety of all members of the Indian and Australian squads,” the release added.
“Similar measures were taken during the BBL this season after it was determined two Brisbane Heat players failed to comply with tournament biosecurity protocols.”
Navaldeep Singh, an Indian fan, had posted footage of players dining on social media of the group at the restaurant, claiming that he had paid the $118.69 bill for the players. He also posted pictures of players carrying shopping. He also claimed that he hugged Pant. The players, however, can shop via click-and-collect option with the mask.
The breach at the restaurant assumes significance especially after a recent rise of Covid-19 cases in Victoria, where Melbourne is located, and around Sydney in New South Wales where the third Test will be played from January 7.