IPL 2021: Australian players to leave early? Here's what Ricky Ponting, David Hussey have to say
The 2021 Indian Premier League is continuing in full swing and proceeds to entertain the fans in almost every game it conducts. The matches are being played behind closed doors, while stern bio-bubble measures have been put in place, citing the prevailing pandemic.
India is undergoing a tough situation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, as the second wave of the same has hit the nation hard, with record cases being registered every day. However, cricket is continuing to proceed, with the Indian Premier League 2021 happening in full flow.
Meanwhile, owing to the recent surge, five players have decided to leave the tournament mid-way, including four Australians. Furthermore, a report from Sydney Morning Herald adds that the Australian players could leave the tournament early before they possibly get stranded in India.
“Several sources close to the situation said on Sunday that multiple Australian players in India were seeking to leave the tournament early amid India’s skyrocketing coronavirus cases and recent travel restrictions imposed on people returning to Australia from India,” read the report.
In the meantime, Kolkata Knight Riders mentor David Hussey has admitted that a few of the Australians are a bit nervous about the situation and fear getting stuck. “Everyone is sort of a bit nervous about whether they can get back into Australia. I dare say there will be a few other Australians a bit nervous about getting back into Australia. We’re stuck in bubbles. It’s probably not too dissimilar to what all Victorians experienced last year in lockdown really. You get tested every second day. So, it’s quite full-on, but I think every precaution has been taken for everyone’s safety,” he told SMH.
However, he affirmed that the players are realistic at the same time and want the competition to continue. “Everyone’s pretty nervous about what’s going on over here, but they’re also pragmatic. From a Kolkata point of view, we’re desperate for the tournament to keep going, purely because everyone’s in lockdown; there’s not much else to do,” he added.
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia has stated that it is monitoring the situation and is in constant touch with the Aussie players in the IPL, while it would act upon the advice by the Australian government. “Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association remain in regular contact with Australian players, coaches, and commentators taking part in the Indian Premier League, which is being conducted under strict biosecurity protocols. We will continue to listen to feedback from those on the ground in India and the advice of the Australian Government. Our thoughts are with the people of India at this difficult time,” a CA statement read, reports ANI.
Moreover, Delhi Capitals head coach, Ricky Ponting, has asserted that despite the situation being “grim”, IPL is expected to go ahead and entertain the people amidst these tough times. “This IPL, probably more than any other, has become more about what’s happening outside than what’s happening here. We right now are probably the safest people in the country being in the bubbles that we are in,” he said in a video posted by DC.
“It must be incredibly difficult. So, the more we can share these experiences, the better off we are. The people that aren’t from India, the more that we can be talking to the locals about what they are going through, the better off we are all going to be. We will just keep our fingers crossed. And hope people remain safe. That’s a big thing for me: the players are taking the best care of their families where they can from the outside,” he concluded.
Three Australians (Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson), along with England’s Liam Livingstone, have already left due to the current situation. Meanwhile, Indian and DC all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin has also taken a break to support his family and is expected to be back during the latter half of the tournament.
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