The 2021 Indian Premier League has come to an indefinite halt following multiple COVID breaches in the team bubble. Meanwhile, most Australian players would now be flying to the Maldives before returning to Australia.
In the fallout of the now postponed Indian Premier League 2021, the overseas players are concerned about how would they return home. Although the IPL Governing Council has stated that it would ensure that the players return home safe and sound, it is the Australian players who are more concerned.
What did IPL say?
"These are difficult times, especially in India and while we have tried to bring in some positivity and cheer, however, it is imperative that the tournament is now suspended and everyone goes back to their families and loved ones in these trying times. The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021," the IPL had said in a statement on Tuesday.
Status of Australians
As far as the Australians are concerned, they cannot return to their homeland due to the travel suspensions between the two countries. With as many 40 Australians involved in the IPL, ESPNCricinfo reports that they would be off to the Maldives before returning to Australia. Meanwhile, the players involved in the County Championship in England would travel to Dubai for now before the United Kingdom clears the route for passengers incoming from India.
"Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association understand the decision of the BCCI to indefinitely postpone the 2021 Indian Premier League for the safety and wellbeing of all participants. CA is in direct contact with the BCCI as they work through plans to ensure the safe accommodation and repatriation of Australian players, coaches, match officials and commentators back home to Australia. CA and the ACA respect the decision of the Australian Government to pause travel from India until at least May 15 and will not seek exemptions. CA and the ACA thank the BCCI for their efforts and cooperation for the safe repatriation of all participants at the IPL," said CA and ACA in a joint statement, reports CI.
Speaking further on the situation, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison asserted that it is a temporary two-week pause and not a long four-month thing. "I thank all of those who are in this difficult situation for their patience and their understanding. I am working to bring them home safely. I am going to take decisions that I believe will protect Australia from a third wave and help me to be able to reach out and bring more Australians safely home from places where they are in difficult situations. I'd just ask them [the cricketers], like the many Australians that are in India at present, to be patient and understanding. This is a two-week pause. It's not a permanent pause, it's not a four-month lockdown," he said.
Australians involved in IPL 2021:
Chennai Super Kings: Jason Behrendorff and Michael Hussey
Delhi Capitals: Steven Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Ricky Ponting and James Hopes
Kolkata Knight Riders: Pat Cummins, Ben Cutting and David Hussey
Mumbai Indians: Nathan Coulter-Nile and Chris Lynn
Punjab Kings: Moises Henriques, Jhye Richardson, Riley Meredith and Damien Wright
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Christian, Daniel Sams, Simon Katich and Adam Griffith
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner, Tom Moody, Trevor Bayliss and Brad Haddin
Status of New Zealanders
In the meantime, New Zealand has lifted its travel ban with India, while there are limited flights available. Nonetheless, New Zealand Cricket has stated that the players must undergo a strict 14-day quarantine upon arrival.
"NZC remains in contact with the New Zealand contingent in the Indian Premier League. The players are in a relatively safe environment and those within affected teams are in isolation. We'll continue to liaise with the BCCI, the ECB and New Zealand government authorities in terms of managing their situation - but at this juncture it's too early to discuss potential options," it said in a statement.
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Last Updated May 4, 2021, 5:30 PM IST