IPL 2021: England players reach UK, wait continues for Australia and New Zealand
The Indian Premier League 2021 has been suspended indefinitely owing to multiple COVID bubble breaches. Currently, the overseas players are contemplating returning to their respective countries amidst travel restrictions.
The 2021 Indian Premier League has come to a halt as multiple COVID bubble breaches have forced the postponement of the fruitful tournament. Meanwhile, the suspension means that the players, including overseas, will have to go back home for now.
According to the latest report from ESPNCricinfo, all the England players have managed to reach home in the United Kingdom. However, Australian and New Zealand players are still awaiting their turn. The report adds that the Australians are currently preparing to travel to the Maldives or Sri Lanka and board charter planes to Australia.
As for the New Zealand players, they would be split into two groups. The first group is scheduled to travel to England ahead of the two-Test series next month, while the other would go home. Meanwhile, a few of the Indian players have also managed to reach home, while a few are ready to return home.
According to the report, there happens to be confusion regarding the protocol for players of the teams testing positive. While a couple of the squads are undergoing quarantine, it appears that some players have been granted the nod from the IPL Governing Council to leave for home upon a negative test.
"I was on the phone to my counterpart less than an hour ago and I can't speak more highly for how the BCCI but also all of the franchises have worked to look after our players and put in plans to make sure that they get home safely and as quickly as possible," said interim Cricket Australia CEO, Nick Hockley.
Meanwhile, New Zealand Cricket Players' Association head, Heath Mills, said that while the players flying to the UK will have to wait until May 10 due to the present travel restrictions of non-UK residents from India. "Due to the UK border restrictions, that group cannot get into England until May 11. It is obviously challenging for them to wait for another few days," he told CI.
Although the players flying to New Zealand have been cleared, the travel would be a challenge since no regular flights are available. "The group going home to New Zealand is a real challenge. Might be one or two of the franchises might put them on a charter plane, which will be fantastic. We'll have that confirmed in the next 24 hours. But there still might be players who aren't part of those groups and trying to get them back via commercial airlines is a real challenge because there aren't too many flights out of India," Mills reckoned.
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