A ‘hard’ lockdown for at least three days imposed by the Queensland government starting from Friday evening has cast further doubts over the India vs Australia fourth Test scheduled to take place in Brisbane, reported news agency Associated Press. The restrictions begin at 6 p.m. on Friday and end at 6 p.m. Monday. The lockdown was imposed due to a new case in Brisbane.
Both the Indian and Australian squads are slated to travel to Brisbane on Tuesday, a day after the stay-at-home restrictions are currently scheduled to end but the local government indicated they won’t shy away from extending the lockdown if the to stop the spread of the virus.
A cleaner at a quarantine hotel in Brisbane has tested positive for the highly contagious U.K. variant of COVID-19, prompting the state government to take drastic action.
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“We are going to go hard and we are going to go early to do everything we can to stop the spread,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Friday.
“This is incredibly serious. We are declaring that Greater Brisbane area a hotspot and I’m also asking my colleagues from other jurisdictions to also declare Greater Brisbane a hotspot until we get through this together,” Palaszczuk said.
When asked about the Brisbane test match which is slated to begin from January 15, the premier replied: “Still talking . . . still positive talks at this stage.”
There have been various reports in the Australian media about the Indian team management expressing its unwillingness to travel to Brisbane to play the fourth Test if the stricter quarantine rules are imposed on them. India stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane, at the start of the play did indicate that the Indian players are not at all ‘annoyed’ but the bio-bubble rules but it does get difficult.
Both sides are currently playing the third Test match in Sydney with the series locked 1-1.
(With AP inputs)