India vs Australia – BCCI Requests Cricket Australia : It’s all but over for Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma’s hopes to board a flight for Australia. But as always, Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI) is again trying to weave their last minute magic.
BCCI has requested Cricket Australia to relax quarantine norms for Rohit and Ishant so that they can play some part in the Test Series. If the current norms of 14 days quarantine are relaxed, both players can still play some part in the test series.
“BCCI is in talks with CA, which in turn is negotiating with the Australian government about a relaxation in the quarantine rules (for the two players). If the rules are relaxed, then both Rohit and Ishant could be available for the (second) tour game,” a BCCI official told The Indian Express.
If not, It’s almost certain that Rohit’s quarantine period will mean full confinement to his hotel room. The Indian contingent, which travelled from the IPL bubble on November 12, were allowed to practise at Sydney’s Olympic Park. Such privilege won’t be afforded to Rohit or Ishant.
That will mean if Rohit is considered for the third Test in Sydney from January 7 he will have to take the field without any match practice and Ishant without proving his match fitness.
Can Cricket Australia relax the quarantine norms for Rohit & Ishant ?
The quarantine norms are mandated by the Australian government and Cricket Australia does not have any role or say to get the same relaxed. But after BCCI’s request according to the information available, CA is having a dialogue with the concerned authorities to consider Rohit & Ishant in the ‘exempt category’. There is a provision in the Australian Government health advisory where they exempt incoming travelers from 14 days mandatory quarantine.
“The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) recognises some other travellers should be exempt from quarantine requirements as long as they take steps to mitigate risk. These travellers must apply for a quarantine exemption in line with state and territory requirements.”
The BCCI and CA understandably are trying to take the ‘exemption’ route for Rohit and Ishant.
Rohit & Ishant for Australia : Quarantine norms not only the issue, question mark on fitness as well ?
India’s limited overs vice-captain is under a cloud after he failed to attain the desired level of fitness during his stint at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore. The condition of fast bowler Ishant Sharma, who too is undergoing rehab at the NCA, is also reportedly far from satisfactory and may have to miss the series unless he attains match fitness in the next 7-10 days.
The question that crops up is why was Rohit sent to the NCA and not asked to travel with the contingent to Australia?
Rohit playing the IPL playoffs for Mumbai Indians and then not boarding the flight to Australia for the full tour is a mystery which deserves some answers. The BCCI claimed he will join the squad for the Test series that starts on Dec 17 and Rohit was advised to rehab along with Ishant at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. The NCA now reckons that the duo will need at least three weeks to be Test-match fit.
Both Ishant and Rohit have been training under physio Ashish Kaushik and are being monitored by NCA chief Rahul Dravid and selection committee chairman Sunil Joshi. Meanwhile it is also learnt that the team management in Australia including Coach and Captain has made it clear to Joshi that the duo be sent only if they attain full fitness required at the international level.