No talk between CA-BCCI regarding Virat Kohli's return for final Test

In a media interaction, CA interim chief executive Nick Hockley revealed that the India-Australia series will be played in front of large crowds.

India captain Virat Kohli receives the Border-Gavaskar Trophy from Australian cricket legend Allan Border in the 2018-19 season.   -  FILE PHOTO/ REUTERS

Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia's (CA) interim chief executive, on Tuesday said he 'respects' India captain Virat Kohli's decision to take paternity leave after the first Test in Adelaide.

India's tour of Australia will start with three ODIs, followed by as many T20Is, leading to the Test series from December 17. In a media interaction, Hockley spoke about the bio-secure arrangements and the significance of India's two-month long tour Down Under.

On the day-night Test in Adelaide...

We have been working very closely with the South Australian government, and have been assured that the small cluster of COVID-19 cases has now been contained... the lockdown they were under finished last Saturday and so, at the moment it is all systems go for the Adelaide Test.

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On the relaxation in mandatory quarantine period to facilitate Kohli’s return for final Test...

The quarantine arrangements are well-prescribed. Our focus has been on making sure the training conditions within the mandatory 14-day quarantine period are optimal for all the players. About Kohli's plans post the first Test, we have had no discussions with the BCCI.

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On the impact of Kohli’s absence...

We're delighted for Virat and [his wife] Anushka (Sharma) for the imminent birth of their child. We respect Virat's decision and the BCCI to grant him leave. We're just delighted he'll be here to captain the side for the ODIs and the T20Is and the first Test. He'll bring competitive leadership that we've seen before and have become accustomed to watching. I don't think his absence will have a financial bearing.

Virat Kohli and Australia Test captain Tim Paine in the 2018-19 series Down Under.   -  FILE PHOTO/ REUTERS


On the financial stress due to the pandemic and the return of cricket...

This series is of great importance to world cricket and Australian cricket. One of the features of the pandemic has been how the international cricket community has supported each other. Even we had travelled to England in September, and we are extremely grateful to the BCCI to make this tour happen. This is a testament to all countries that we've got international cricket back up and running. Australia has been fortunate that we've managed the Covid-19 situation well, and I'm excited that the series will be played in front of very large crowds.

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On the contingency plans...

We have got contingency plans all the way through. Our primary work has been with various state governments to ensure that the right protocols are in place to minimise risks of any outbreaks. There has been negligible community transmission in Australia of late… there have been some cases but they have been more attached to returning visitors whilst within the quarantine environment. We are confident that with the work of our health experts and medical authorities, we will mitigate any imminent risk.

India's first ODI against Australia will be telecast live at 8am, November 27, on Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 3 and Sony Six channels

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