‘Isolated’ players also cleared to play as teams arrive in Sydney for third Test

In a welcome development, all members of the Indian team tested negative for COVID-19 on Monday.

“The playing members of the Indian Cricket Team and support staff underwent an RT-PCR Test for COVID-19 on January 3, 2021. All tests have returned negative results,” the BCCI said in a statement.

The Indian and Australian teams travelled from Melbourne to Sydney on Monday for the New Year’s Test in the Border-Gavaskar series that is all square at 1-1 after the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw and Navdeep Saini — put in “isolation” following an alleged breach of protocol — have been cleared to play the Sydney Test.

Cricket Australia (CA) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have launched an inquiry into the incident. A video on Twitter showed the five Indian players eating at an indoor restaurant in Melbourne.

According to protocol, players are allowed to sit outside but not allowed to dine inside restaurants. Although the bio-security breach is still being investigated, “they will be allowed to play in Sydney,” a CA official told The Hindu on condition of anonymity.

Crowd limit

The third Test will be played in front of a crowd reduced to 25% of the SCG’s 38,000 capacity, following a COVID-19 outbreak in the northern beaches region of Sydney.

Approximately 9,500 people will be allowed to watch the match. The SCG had hosted two ODIs and two T20Is during the limited-overs leg.

The first three games were held in front of 18,000 spectators before restrictions were lifted for the final T20I on December 8, with more than 30,000 attending.

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