On Friday, when a wide-eyed Indian fan tweeted a series of photos of five Indian players — Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Navdeep Saini, Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill — dining at a Melbourne restaurant, it created a stir on social media. The fan suggested that he paid the bill for the players and then hugged Pant, a claim he has retracted since.
According to reports in the Australian media, this was not the only instance of an alleged bio-bubble breach by the Indian team while on tour. In fact, there were two other misdemeanours, which had hitherto gone unreported.
The first involved captain Virat Kohli and all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who paid a visit to a toddler’s store in Sydney on December 7. By posing with a woman (unclear if it is a shopkeeper or staff) without masks, the two cricketers had inadvertently breached Cricket Australia’s biosecurity norms, an official told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
A little over a week later, a group of Indian players pit-stopped late-night at an eatery in Adelaide.
A couple of them went inside to place the order, while others sat at a table outside. This was another breach as the players who went inside didn’t sport masks.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, both instances were minor breaches, but unlike the one involving the five Indian players who created a meltdown on Twitter, these instances went unnoticed because they were not reported to the cricket authorities.