Australia batsman Steve Smith
Australia batsman Steve Smith

Strict quarantine rules notwithstanding, Smith would 'love to play at the Gabba'

ANI | Updated: Jan 08, 2021 17:54 IST

Sydney [Australia], January 8 (ANI): Amid the growing doubt over the fate of the fourth Test between Australia and India at The Gabba, Steve Smith said as players "we play where we are told to" asserting that hosts are fully prepared for the final Test to be played in Brisbane despite having strict quarantine rules.
"To my knowledge, not anything is changed from our point of view, we will wait and see and that is not our decision to make, we are the players and we go where we are told and do what we need to do, but we would love to play at the Gabba for sure," Smith told the media during the virtual press conference at the end of the second day's action at the SCG.
Queensland's Health Authorities has made it clear that strict quarantine rules have to be followed by the Australian and Indian cricket team in Brisbane since they would be coming from a declared hotspot -- Sydney.
Off late, Sydney has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases and as a result, there are travel and border restrictions for people travelling from Sydney.
Speaking to ANI, a Queensland Health spokesperson on Friday confirmed that the teams would indeed be required to be in strict quarantine in their hotel. The spokesperson explained that members of both the Indian and Australian contingent would be allowed to leave their hotels only to train or play matches.

"If the fourth Test does proceed in Brisbane, both teams and their officials would need to follow the same arrangements Queensland has put in place for other sporting codes like the NRL and AFL. When teams travel from declared hotspots, they would immediately go into quarantine hotels and leave only to train or play matches.
"Requirements for crowds will be managed in accordance with the stadium's COVID Safe Site Specific Plan. Any changes will be determined closer to the Test, when the COVID-19 risk is cleared," the Queensland Health spokesperson said.
"Various sporting codes have had arrangements in place to allow for the professional sport to safely continue in Queensland. As always we will continue to monitor the risk of COVID-19 and make any necessary changes to keep Queenslanders safe. The Chief Health Officer approved Cricket Australia's COVID-Safe and Quarantine Management plans to conduct the 4th Test Match in Queensland on January 6, 2021," the spokesperson added.
When asked whether the authorities are satisfied with the planning done by Cricket Australia, the spokesperson said: "Cricket Australia's plans have been reviewed thoroughly and give us great confidence that they understand the importance and the need for strict quarantine measures to be implemented to facilitate the Test and they are taking their commitment seriously in ensuring the safety of all Queenslanders."
India's stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane had said that it is a little challenging to see people in Sydney roaming around while the players are in quarantine.
"See, being in quarantine has its own challenges, as a team, we are just focusing on the game, outside life in Sydney is completely normal but the players are in quarantine which has its own challenge but we have to face it. We are not complaining and we are focusing on the third Test," he had said. (ANI)