The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) claims that the Indian cricket team players have not violated any COVID-19 protocols in Australia. The speculations of Indian cricketers breaking the protocols were going around when few Indian cricketers went out to eat out at a restaurant in Melbourne.

A senior BCCI official told PTI that the Indian team is “well aware” of the COVID-19 protocols and had not violated any of them.

“No, there has been no breach in bio-security protocols. Everyone associated with the Indian team is well aware of the protocols,” the official said on conditions of anonymity.

It all started after a fan, identified as Navaldeep Singh, tweeted pictures and videos of cricketers Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Navdeep Saini and Shubman Gill having a meal at a restaurant.

The fan, who claimed that he was seated close to the players at the restaurant, later apologised for creating confusion by claiming that he had been hugged by Pant after he paid for the players’ meal.

As per COVID-19 protocols by Cricket Australia, players are allowed to eat out provided they take necessary precautions.

The BCCI official rubbished the rumours and said it’s “a malicious spin by a section of Australian media”.

“We can only term it as a malicious spin by a section of Australian media and this has started after their humiliating defeat,” he added.

The ‘Sydney Morning Herald’, in a report that was not backed up by any statements from either the BCCI, Cricket Australia or the Indian team management, reported that the restaurant visit was a breach of bio-bubble protocol.

“The Australian media at times acts as an extension of their cricket team,” the BCCI official said.

This had also put the future of the third Test in Sydney in doubt before CA clarified that it would not be shifted to Melbourne.

Meanwhile, there are reports going around the third Test match between India and Australia has come under threat after a rise in COVID-19 cases near Sydney Cricket Ground. According to reports 10 COVID-19 cases were found positive on December 31 in Sydney’s vicinity, taking the toll to 170 over the last two weeks.

The areas of Berala and Smithfield, which are just 30-odd kilometres from the SCG have been put on alert.

The third Test match between India and Australia will start from January 7.