The recent news of 5 Indian players allegedly breaking the bio-Bubble protocols has hit the internet by storm. Many cricket fans have had mixed opinions regarding the same. One Indian cricket team fan has gone viral on social media after he paid a bill worth Australian dollars 118 for the Indian cricket team after players like Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant and Navdeep Saini were spotted eating at the restaurant. Although that act has gotten massive appreciation from social media, it has reportedly put Rishabh Pant in trouble. The reason? Rishabh Pant hugged the Indian fan for the gesture and this has fallen foul to Cricket Australia’s bio-bubble protocol. However What is Bio-Bubble? How does Bio-Bubble affects players? Let’s have a look into it.
The aim of a bio-Bubble is to keep cricket teams relatively isolated from the outside world so as to greatly minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection. As a result, players from the England-West Indies series are only permitted access to the ground and their respective hotels. It just so happens that both the Ageas Bowl in Southampton and the Old Trafford Cricket Stadium, Manchester, have Hilton hotels as part of the stadium premises. That, however, will not be the case in the UAE, as things stand today. One of the mandatory rules to follow in the bio-bubble guidelines are that players will not be permitted to have access to families, visitors, friends, and relatives for the duration of a tournament, and will not be permitted to pay a visit to family or friends, outside the team’s bio-secure environment. This stipulation was put to the test a fortnight ago when England fast-bowler Jofra Archer was forced to sit out of the second test against the West Indies for breaching bio-secure protocols when he visited a friend. The pacer had to pay a fine and self-isolate for five days before returning to play the third test. For all its foresight and planning, some have expressed doubts over the effectiveness of the bio-bubble in test cricket. Indian batting legend Rahul Dravid is one of them. “What if a player who passes tests ends up testing positive on day 2 of a test match,” said Dravid, on a webinar recently. He was, however, speaking on the proposal to conduct test matches in a bio-secure environment. “Under present-day regulations, public health officials would quarantine everyone in contact with the player,” Dravid added, “It is unrealistic to have things (in India) on the same level as the ECB is proposing.”
India and Australia are set to play the fourth and final Test of the series in Brisbane. But nothing is still confirmed as of yet with Queensland government still reviewing the situation in New South Wales and Victoria. There is still a chance of the last two Tests to be played in Sydney only if the COVID-19 situation worsens. Meanwhile, the potential bio-bubble breach from the Indian players will also play a vital role it seems and Rohit Sharma, along with four others, might have to get tested for COVID-19 before entering the bubble again.