India cricketers test negative after Australia bubble ‘breach’

Sydney: India’s team and support staff all tested negative for COVID-19 after five players allegedly breached their bio-security bubble, officials said on Monday.

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The quintet — Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw and Navdeep Saini — were filmed dining inside a Melbourne restaurant on New Year’s Day.

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The Australian state of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, is battling to stem a cluster of virus cases tied to a wider outbreak in neighbouring New South Wales.

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In response, authorities require restaurant-goers to dine outdoors and maintain social distancing.

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While the five were allowed to continue training, they were told to stay apart from the broader Indian squad, with the entire tour party tested on Sunday.

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The Indian cricket board, which has not said whether the five will be punished, on Monday issued a brief statement giving them the all-clear for COVID-19.

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“Playing members of the Indian cricket team and support staff underwent a test for COVID-19 on January 3, 2021. All tests have returned negative results,” it said. Australia’s team and staff were also tested and they too came back negative.

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Both teams headed to Sydney on Monday for the third Test starting on Thursday, with the four-Test series level at 1-1.

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There are currently an estimated 273 active cases in Australia, although many are travellers in quarantine.

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