In a joint statement, Cricket Australia (CA) and Indian cricket board (BCCI) claimed that an investigation will be carried out to see if there was any breach of protocol on the part of the Indian cricketers. The controversy came to light when a fan, present at the restaurant, ran a series of tweets on the visit of the cricketers. The fan claimed to have foot the bill, interacted with the players and even hugged Pant. However, the bone of contention is the fact the players chose to dine inside the restaurants instead of taking the seats outdoors as suggested in the protocols.
“On the advice of the Australian and Indian medical teams, the aforementioned players have been placed in isolation as a precaution. This will include separating the group of players from the broader Indian and Australian squads when traveling and at the training venue. Players will be permitted to train in accordance with the strict protocols that have been put in place to ensure the ongoing safety of all members of the Indian and Australian squads,” the statement read.
However, TOI understands that the team management has a strong defence ready and this controversy has not gone down well with the team. According to sources, the concerned five players had taken the seats outdoors but moved in because it started drizzling. “The players are very clear that they didn’t breach any protocol. They were caught off guard by the fan. They only interacted with the fan after realizing he had paid for their food,” a source close to the team management told TOI.
The statement also added the same protocols are in place for the ongoing Big Bash League. Chris Lynn and Dan Lawrence were sanctioned for breach of protocol for posing for a selfie with a fan.
The Indian team management is confident that the players will be let off while they feel this could be a matter of targeting their players. “The protocols are vague. The players were always allowed walk-arounds in the cities. Wearing masks are not mandatory and the same waiters serve food to customers sitting inside and outside the restaurants. The Indian players are ready for N number of tests. Hopefully, this matter won’t escalate to another level,” the source added.