Indian team tests negative for Covid-19 after dinner bubble ‘breach’

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India’s cricket team and support staff have all tested negative for Covid-19 after five players apparently breached their bio-security bubble, officials said on Monday, as capacity at the Sydney Cricket Ground was slashed over coronavirus concerns.

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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.

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.

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

ENTIRE INDIAN TOUR PARTY WAS TESTED

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.

“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.

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

25% CAPACITY ONLY FOR SYDNEY TEST

They will play in front of a 25 percent capacity crowd – around 10 000 – after it was slashed from 50 percent following a backlash on social media and from some experts, given the Covid situation in the city.

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

It means all tickets will be refunded and fans must re-apply.

The fourth and final Test is in Brisbane next week.

IN CLOSING | POTCH TO STAGE ONE-DAY CUP IN BIO-BUBBLE

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