Sourav Ganguly, the BCCI president and former India captain, has suggested he will attempt to reduce the quarantine period India are to observe on their tour of Australia later this year.
India are scheduled to tour Australia later this year for a four-Test series, although given the effects of the global pandemic Covid-19, a lot surrounding the tournament remains unclear, especially with the need to make the series a bio-secure event.
West Indies arrived in England a month ahead of the start of the ongoing Test series, to observe a quarantine period of two weeks before getting to actual practice. Pakistan, who are set to play England in a three-Test series in August and September, are already in the United Kingdom, and are undergoing the quarantining protocols.
However, Ganguly, speaking to India Today, said he would try and reduce the quarantine period for the Indian team, when they’re in Australia. “In December we will be coming,” he said. “We just hope the number of quarantine days get reduced a bit. Because we don’t want the players to go all that far and sit in hotel rooms for two weeks.
“It is very, very depressing and disappointing. We are looking at that, the quarantine thing. And, as I said Australia and New Zealand have been in good position [in terms of number of Covid-19 cases] except Melbourne. So, from that point of view, we will be going there and hopefully the quarantine days will be less and we can get back to cricket.”
Ganguly also said that, for Virat Kohli, the India captain, the tour of Australia would be an important “yardstick”. “His captaincy tenure is going to be a yardstick,” said Ganguly. “This will be a milestone series. I have been in touch with him, telling him, ‘You have got to stay fit. You haven’t played cricket for six months …”.
Ganguly on his final Test, when Dhoni handed him captaincy.
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“You have got to make sure your best bowlers are ready for the tour and fit. Whether it’s (Mohammed) Shami, whether it’s (Jasprit) Bumrah, whether it’s Ishant [Sharm]a, whether it’s [Hardik] Pandya, they have to be at the top of their match fitness when they land in Australia.”
The Test series was initially supposed to be begin in Brisbane on December 3, with the traditional Boxing Day and New Year’s Test played at Melbourne and Sydney respectively. However, it remains to be seen how severely the pandemic has affected the tour’s schedule.