The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday relaxed Covid-19 institutional quarantine norms for Maharashtra-based players and support staff of the Indian cricket team as they returned to Mumbai after their victorious tour of Australia.

The norms were relaxed after the intervention of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who interjected on the players’ behalf with the state government at the behest of the Board of Cricket Control in India.

The decision to ease institutional quarantine rules comes a day after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is said to have rejected a suggestion to relax of norms for Maharashtra-based players of the team.

Referring to the fact that the players and staffers had already been in a bio bubble during the series, a senior minister had sought that special concession be made for the cricketers from Maharashtra on their return to Mumbai. But fearing a backlash, Thackeray had opined that this could amount to discrimination, said sources. But on Thursday, Mumbai-based players like Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Prithvi Shaw, Shardul Thakur and coach Ravi Shastri where allowed to leave the airport without being quarantined.

According to BMC’s rules, passengers coming from Europe, UK, South Africa and Middle East need to undergo 14-day institutional quarantine.

The cricketers and the coach had taken a return flight from Australia via Dubai.

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