"Least I can do for my superstars."
An Indian cricket fan secretly paid the bill of his favourite players after spotting them eating at a Melbourne restaurant.
It was reported that the group Secret Kitchen restaurant on New Year’s Day and dined inside.
Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Navdeep Saini and Prithvi Shaw were the cricketers inside.
Cricket fan Navaldeep Singh posted footage of the players on social media.
To the players’ surprise, Navaldeep paid their $118.16 food bill and tweeted about his kind gesture.
He said: “They are not aware but I have paid their table bill. Least I can do for my superstars.”
Navaldeep also claimed that when the players found out about his gesture, Pant hugged him.
This prompted suggestions that the players had breached Covid-19 protocols. However, the Indian team have stated that it was a case of following all protocols and there was no reason to worry.
The Indian cricket fan later stated that Pant did not actually hug him. He claimed he said it out of excitement and that they maintained social distance.
He said: “Clarification – Pant never hugged me it was all said in excitement we maintained social distance all thru. Apologies for miscommunication.”
A source said: “The boys had just gone out to a restaurant to get some food.
“They followed all the necessary protocols and their temperature was checked and proper sanitisation was done before they sat on the table.
“There is no need to make an issue out of this.
“As for the whole question of a fan being hugged by Pant, the fan has himself confessed that he had said that out of excitement.”
However, on January 2, 2021, it emerged that the five players were placed into isolation while the BCCI and Cricket Australia have launched an investigation.
The five cricketers will be separated from the Indian and Australian cricket teams when travelling and while at the training venue.
The two teams are set to fly to Sydney on January 4, 2021, where they will be subjected to even tighter restrictions.
Queensland is monitoring the situation in New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria, the latter recording 10 new local cases of Coronavirus.
Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young and Health Minister Yvette D’Ath have urged Queenslanders to reconsider their need to travel to NSW and Victoria.
The Queensland border is shut to NSW but remains open to Victoria, with the issue to be reviewed on January 8. Should it also close to Victoria, broadcasters will face further difficulties moving their staff into NSW.
Dr Young said: “While we’re not changing any restrictions to NSW and Victoria at this stage, as we’ve seen things can change really quickly with this virus, so I continue to urge Queenslanders travelling to these states to reassess their plans – if it is not necessary, then consider staying here.”
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that the Test between Australia and India, set to begin on January 7, 2021, with 50% capacity.
Berejiklian said: “We consider health and safety first and foremost, but we also need to think about wellbeing and jobs and the economy.”