The Indian cricket team, which landed in Brisbane for the fourth and final Test against Australia on Tuesday, was lodged in a hotel that lacked basic facilities prompting an intervention from the Board of Control for Cricket in India, according to multiple reports.
The trip to Brisbane was already under the scanner due to Queensland’s strict coronavirus protocols but some exceptions were made for the visiting Indian team.
“There was no room service or housekeeping facilities. The gym is very basic and not of international standards and the swimming pool can’t be accessed. This wasn’t what they were promised when they checked in,” a senior BCCI official told PTI.
According to a report by ESPNCricinfo, the players were upset with the conditions and not informed that the team hotel would be in a DIY (Do-It-Yourself), which includes cleaning their own room, no room service and ordering food on apps if they wanted something specific.
PTI reported that BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, secretary Jay Shah and CEO Hemang Amin got in touch with their Cricket Australia counterparts after complaints reached them and have been assured that the Indian contingent will be made to feel comfortable from here on.
A possible reason behind the absence of hotel staff, as per the Cricinfo report, could be that the Indian squad is to fly out of Brisbane immediately after the Test in order to prepare for the home series against England. Cricket Australia could have agreed to a bare minimum staff to avoid too many people coming in contact in the bio-secure environment.
However, access to a swimming pool for the injury-ravaged side is being seen as crucial.
Here are some reactions to the issue on social media as the issue divided opinions:
India will be playing the fourth Test in the Queensland capital from January 15 where the surge of Covid-19 cases and a border lockdown with New South Wales has led to a strict hotel quarantine for the Ajinkya Rahane-led team.
Asked if the players were being allowed to mingle, the Board source said: “Yes, they have been provided with a team room and are allowed to meet each other inside the hotel.”
When asked whether the team had protested with the hotel authorities, the source said: “When the manager enquired about how these things are not being taken care of, all they said was, ‘the rule applies to both Indian and Australian teams. There is no one team that has been subjected to hard quarantine rules.’’
Australia had won the opener in Adelaide inside three days, before India came back to clinch the second Test in Melbourne. The two sides shared the honours in an engrossing third Test in which India produced a gutsy performance.
(With PTI inputs)