Kolkata: The mood among the Australian players and coaching staff, who are associated with various franchises in the IPL 2021, is rather grim in the wake of the second wave of Covid-19 with them anxious about getting ‘‘locked out’’ by the time the tournament is over.
Three Australian cricketers have already cut short their IPL season to head home, while Chris Lynn of Mumbai Indians revealed his plans in an interview with Australian media. ‘‘I texted that as Cricket Australia make 10% of every IPL contract was there a chance we could spend that money this year on a charter flight once the tournament is over?” Lynn, who plays for Mumbai Indians, told News Corp media.
“I know there are people worse off than us. But we are going from a really tight bubble and are getting vaccinated next week - so hopefully the government will let us get home on a private charter,” he said, adding: ‘‘We are not asking for shortcuts and we signed up knowing the risks. But it would be great to get home as soon as the event is over.”
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Cricket Australia said in a statement that they are in touch with their cricketers after the pullouts of Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson (both Royal Challengers Bangalore) and Andrew Tye (Rajasthan Royals). They will undergo a 14-day quarantine on arrival back in Australia.
There are 14 players left apart from the members of the coaching staff like Ricky Ponting (Delhi Capitals), Simon Katich (Royal Challengers Bangalore), David Hussey (Kolkata Knight Riders) apart from commentators for the official broadcasters like Brett Lee.
“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 bio-security protocols,” said a statement from Cricket Australia.
“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,” it added.
The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) on Monday reported that many Australian players are ‘nervous about securing safe passage back home after the [Scott] Morrison government (Australian government) reduced the number of incoming passengers allowed from 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,” said the report.