IPL 2021: Umpire Nitin Menon chooses safety over anxiety, Paul Reiffel's return plans hit readblock
The 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League is being held in India amidst the growing second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Already a few players have pulled out of the productive tournament citing personal concerns regarding the situation surrounding the pandemic.
The Indian Premier League 2021 is in the headlines, not just on its excellent gameplay but also because it is being played in India when the nation struggles with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, it has led to a few players getting concerned and pondering pull out.
Meanwhile, according to a PTI report, a couple of umpires, Nitin Menon (India) and Paul Reiffel (Australia) have decided to pull out of the tournament this season mid-way citing personal concerns regarding the pandemic. As for Reiffel, although he had decided to travel back home, his plans did not materialise as the country has already blocked all routes from India.
"I tried to, but the flight through Doha, I wasn't able to go through as an Australian. They shut the avenue off. I know a couple of the guys got back that way through there, but the avenue was closed so I had to stay. Yesterday I was booked to go, but it got cancelled. I thought I'd take the opportunity when I could, because you don't know what's going to happen later on," he told Sydney Morning Herald. Meanwhile, he would continue to officiate in IPL 2021.
Meanwhile, PTI's report also adds that Menon's mother has tested positive for the coronavirus. "Yes, Nitin has left as his immediate family members have COVID-19 and he is currently not in a mental state to conduct games," a BCCI official quoted.
Menon is the only Indian umpire in the International Cricket Council's elite panel, while he was praised for his work during the recent home series against England. Meanwhile, he has become the second Indian to pull out after the Delhi Capitals all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin, while four overseas players (Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa and Liam Livingstone) had done the same earlier this week.
In the meantime, IPL CEO Hemang Amin had assured all the participating members that they are safe as long as they are inside the bio-bubble. The BCCI has also taken responsibility to ensure that the overseas members of the competition reach home safe and sound. Meanwhile, Menon and Reiffel are to be replaced by a couple of Indian umpires.
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