Sydney store owner responds to Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya’s alleged bio-bubble breach, says ‘they maintained distance’

A new controversy sprang up recently after a section of Australian media alleged that India cricket stars Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya breached bio-bubble on December 7th during the Australia tour. Both Kohli and Pandya had reportedly visited a store in Sydney, and 20 days after both the players left the country, reports came out that the two had breached the bio-secure protocols.

But Nathan Pongrass, the owner of Baby Village, Bondi Junction – the shop where Kohli and Pandya reportedly visited – squashed the reports and said both the players were quite respectful and followed all the protocols that were in place at the time. As per a report from Reuters, the masks were made compulsory at indoor venues in New South Wales from January 3rd after a fresh Covid-19 outbreak in mid-December.

“They came in and spent a little bit of time. At that stage, there were no restrictions in New South Wales. We wanted to give them gifts but they wanted to pay for everything. They were just so generous with their time. They spent time talking with our staff. They were just lovely people,” Pongrass told Australian journalist Norman Kochannek for Sports Today.

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“They were kind enough to take a couple of photos with our team, which wanted to share the experience with family members. We put that on social media to just show we were being proud that they had chosen to visit our store.

“Our staff was not allowed to touch them and shake hands with them. Even though there were no restrictions at the time, they were very much keeping their distance.

“I don’t think they were masks. As I said before, at that time, there weren’t many new cases in New South Wales. If you looked through the streets, one in 50 people were wearing masks. Older people were wearing and even some pregnant ladies weren’t wearing masks in Sydney.

“That was the experience we had. We had a very positive experience. It’s really a shame what has happened in the media because of it,” Pongrass signed off.

India and Australia will face each other on January 7 in the third Test in Sydney with the four-match series level at 1-1.

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