Top Aus cricket bodies to help players return from IPL
Sydney: Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) on Tuesday said they would coordinate with the Australian government which has decided to suspend direct flights from India till May 15 owing to a massive surge in Covid-19 cases in India.
As many as 30 Australians are part of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) in India, and some of them want to return home.
Royal Challengers Bangalore duo Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson will fly out from Mumbai soon after April 28 midnight. They have decided to return home via Doha, like their Aussie teammate Andrew Tye did a couple of days ago. There are still 14 Aussie players left in the IPL, besides members of the franchises’ coaching staff, like Ricky Ponting, David Hussey and Simon Katich, as well as commentators like Brett Lee and Michael Slater.
CA and ACA said they are in regular touch with the Aussie players, coaches, match officials, and commentators who currently associated with the IPL.
The CA and ACA joint reaction came after the Australian government’s decision to suspend all direct flights from India, and Australian PM Scott Morrison saying that Australians who are appearing in IPL would have to make their own arrangement to fly back home.
There has been a massive surge of positive Corona cases in India, and IPL venues like Delhi, which is scheduled to host its first IPL match on Wednesday, Mumbai, and Ahmedabad are some of the worst affected cities.
In a meeting of Australia’s National Security Committee of the Cabinet on Tuesday, it was decided that direct flights from India would be suspended.
CA and ACA said they would continue to liaise with the Australian government. Both bodies said they were willing to assist the players and would coordinate with the government.
“CA and the ACA are in regular dialogue with players, coaches, match officials and commentators on the ground in India regarding the current situation and we will assist where possible,” said the joint statement.
“We will continue to liaise closely with the Australian Government following today’s announcement that direct flights from India to Australia will be paused until May 15, and monitor the situation between now and the tournament’s scheduled conclusion on May 30,” it said.
“We thank the BCCI and IPL for their efforts to keep everyone safe in the tournament’s bio-secure bubble. Once again, our thoughts are with the people of India during this challenging time,” the CA statement said.
Prime Minister Morrison had earlier said that since the players are privately visiting India for the IPL they would have to ensure their return.
“They have travelled there privately,” Morrison was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
“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,” the report said.