As per the media release from Cricket Australia (CA) on Saturday, the five players in question — Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Navdeep Saini and Prithvi Shaw—were supposed to be separated from the broader squads in travelling and training as an investigation to determine if any biosecurity protocol was breached was put in place.
TOI understands that the ‘isolation’ protocols in place are not very rigid. It is also learnt that once Sunday’s practice session was washed out due to rain, all the players of the squad had a gym session together.
According to sources close to Indian team management, the five players are only told to maintain basic social-distancing practices.
“The team management is clear that there was no breach of protocol and it is not been proved either. As a precaution, these five players are asked to not mingle with the rest of the squad as freely as they were doing before the incident. There’s no timeline set for the investigation,” the source said.
When it comes to practice sessions, it’s easier for the players to train and maintain a safe distance. A bowler bowls to a batsman from 18 yards. Even during fielding, they can be at a considerable distance.
Interestingly, CA’s interim CEO Nick Hockley, in an interview to TOI on Dec 15, had said: “We have put in place a flexible plan which suits the present situation in Australia.”
The team has decided to go about its preparation for the third Test as usual and not worry about the probe.