'4-5 Indian players put whole series at risk': Paine on Team India allegedly flouting Covid rules in Australia
Former Australia captain Tim Paine did not mince words about what he thought about the Indian players who allegedly flouted Covid rules during their tour of the 2020/21 tour of the country.
India's 2021/22 tour of Australia was a dramatic one to say the least. Apart from containing what has been regarded as one of the most thrilling Test series of the century, it also contained a few off-field incidents that took centre-stage. Among the most prominent of them was five Indian players allegedly flouting Covid rules that were in place for the series.
A video doing rounds on Twitter showed Rohit Sharma, who was vice-captain to Ajinkya Rahane after the second Test, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw and Navdeep Saini eating at an indoor restaurant in Melbourne just days after India had recorded a series-levelling victory over Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The five players were then placed under isolation as a precautionary measure.
The players tested negative for Covid-19 and were deemed fit to play the next Test. However, Tim Paine, who was Australia captain at the time, minced no words in criticising the players who were seen in the video.
“I mean those 4-5 guys put the whole Test series at risk. For what? For a bowl of Nando’s, chips or wherever they went, like I just find that pretty selfish to be honest,” Paine says in the documentary ‘Bando Mein Tha Dum’ on Voot.
Pat Cummins, the current Australian Test captain, said that some of the host players were annoyed by the incident. “It did annoy quite a few of the boys. Especially the ones who had to spend a Christmas without their families. That was sacrificing quite a bit to be there on that tour to hear that the other team were flouting the rules and not taking it as seriously,” he said.
Rahane, on the other hand, had said that the players waited inside the restaurant only because of the bad weather outside. “The players who appeared in the pictures were actually waiting for their takeaway order. Due to bad weather, they had to wait inside. The story that appeared in the news was really wrong,” he said.