Melbourne: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday said cricketers playing in the ongoing IPL match in India will have to make their “own arrangements” to return home after the Kangaroo nation banned all flights from India in the wake of a deadly second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic there.
Australia on Tuesday suspended all direct passenger flights from India with immediate effect until May 15 due to the “very significant” spurge in Covid-19 cases.
“They have travelled there privately. This wasn’t part of an Australian tour. They’re under their own resources and they’ll be using those resources too, I’m sure, to see them return to Australia in accordance with their own arrangements,” Morrison was quoted as saying by a leading newspaper.
Meanhile, Aussie player Chris Lynn urges his government for a charter flight for players after IPL is over.
Notably, three Australian players –Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa – have withdrawn from the tournament amid the escalating health crisis in India. The country is recording over three lakh daily new cases and more than 2,000 deaths per day right now.
As many as 14 Australian players still remain in the IPL, including Steve Smith (Delhi Capitals), David Warner (Sunrisers Hyderabad) and Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders) as well as coach Ricky Ponting (Delhi Capitals) and Simon Katich (Royal Challengers Bangalore). Commentators Matthew Hayden, Brett Lee, Michael Slater and Lisa Sthalekar are also among the Australians involved with the league right now.
The ongoing IPL match will end on May 23, followed by the qualifiers (May 25, 28) and eliminator (May 26) and the final (May 30) – all scheduled to be held in Ahmedabad at Narendra Modi stadium.
Given to the current scenario in India, Australian cricketer Pat Cummins donated $50,000 to the country to fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
“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,’ a CA statement read on Monday.
“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.”