‘No God-given right’: Justin Langer gives a VERY blunt response to player concerns and boycott fears over quarantine ahead of Brisbane Test
- Australian coach Langer quizzed about the mental effects of ‘bubble life’
- ‘Nobody’s got a God-given right to play for Australian or their country’ he said
- But an Indian report maintains the team and its Board rejects further isolation
- Indian source says visiting team feels like ‘caged pigeons [invited to] perform’
- The four Test series could be cut short if a reported stalemate is not settled
Australian coach Justin Langer has given a blunt response when asked about how life is for cricketers in a Covid quarantine on the eve of the third Test against India.
Langer was asked about the effect of being in a bubble on his team, but replied that playing for a national team was a privilege you can give up any time you want.
‘We all have a choice, that’s one thing. Nobody’s got a God-given right to play for Australia or their country. We’ve all got a choice … and every one of us can step outside of it,’ he said.
‘Nobody’s got a God-given right to play for Australia or their country. We’ve all got a choice’ said Australian cricket coach Justin Langer (pictured left)
There have been suggestions the Indian team might boycott the fourth and final Test in Brisbane. Pictured: Members of the Indian Cricket team arrive at the Intercontinental Hotel in Double Bay, Sydney, Monday, January 4
‘I’ve been very consistent in saying that if anyone can deal with it, the cricketers can. because that’s how we live most of our life anyway.’
Late on Tuesday, Australian captain Tim Paine acknowledged the uncertainty over the fourth Test was an issue starting to ‘boil over’. He said because of the power India holds in world cricket, ‘it’s likely [a change to the fourth Test] could happen’.
Langer said there wasn’t much difference for teams in lockdown anyway, given the intensity of test match preparations.
‘It’s a little bit tighter than general but we’ll get on with it,’ he said.
‘India beat us here last time, we want to make amends for that and we want to keep moving our journey forward and the only we can do that is by concentrating on what can, which is playing great cricket.’
Langer’s comments come amid fears the Indian team could boycott the fourth and final Test in Brisbane if confined to one floor of their hotel before the match at the Gabba.
An Indian team source told Cricbuzz their players shouldn’t be heavily restricted if they had tested negative for Covid, adding that they underwent quarantine at the start of the tour.
‘Some of our boys have been inside a bubble for nearly six months and it’s not been easy for anyone,’ the source said.
Some of the Indian players last week broke quarantine rules that said they should only eat at an outdoor restaurant.
Five were photographed at an indoor restaurant in Melbourne on New Year’s Day, but later returned negative tests. They were Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw and Navdeep Saini.
India won the Boxing Day Test to level the series at 1-1. Australian coach Justin Langer says his team is concentrating on playing better cricket, not worrying about quarantine.
The Brisbane Cricket Ground, scheduled venue for the fourth Test, which is due to start on January 15.
Although Cricket Australia boss Nick Hockley has said the powerful Board of Control for cricket in India was ‘fine’ with a strict quarantine for the Brisbane test, the issue may not be resolved.
On Wednesday The Times of India claimed the BCCI was still determined to demand Cricket Australia places no further restrictions on Indian players.
‘If Brisbane has rules that require the team to undergo any sort of quarantine once again, then the fourth test has to be either held in Sydney, or curtail this into a three-test series and let the Indian team leave,’ a ‘highly placed source’ told The Times.
The Times also responded to comments by Queensland’s shadow health minister Ros Bates calling them ‘unwarranted and rude’.
Ms Bates had said: ‘If the Indians don’t want to play by the rules, don’t come.’
The Times added the Indian cricket team feels it is being painted as rulebreakers and treated as ‘caged pigeons [invited to] perform and entertain’.
While it is understood the BCCI has made no official complaint a day out from the Sydney Test, the Times maintains one is being prepared.