Mumbai Indians batsman Chris Lynn has asked Cricket Australia to organize a chartered flight to bring his players back from COVID-ravaged India after IPL ended and revealed his franchise will vaccinate all members from the team next week.
Three Australian players – Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa – have pulled out of the league amid the escalating health crisis caused by the second wave of the pandemic in the country.
On Monday, Cricket Australia inquired about the health and travel plans of the IPL players.
“I replied by SMS that since Cricket Australia makes 10% of every IPL contract, was there any chance that we could spend that money this year on a charter flight after the tournament is over? Lynn told News Corp. media.
The league matches will end on May 23, followed by the playoffs (May 25, 28) and playoffs (May 26) and the final (May 30) – all scheduled in Ahmedabad.
“I know there are people who are worse than us. But we’re coming out of a very tight bubble and we’re going to get vaccinated next week, so hopefully the government will let us go home on a private charter.
“We are not asking for shortcuts and we signed up knowing the risks. But it would be great to come home as soon as the event is over.
India will open vaccination for all over 18 from May 1 and the Reliance group, which owns the Indians of Mumbai, has already announced that it will facilitate the vaccination of all its staff and members of the their dependent family.
There are still 14 Australian players left in the IPL, including Steve Smith (Delhi Capitals), David Warner (SunRisers Hyderabad) and Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders) as well as coach Ricky Ponting (DC) and Simon Katich (RCB).
India is witnessing an unprecedented second wave of the pandemic with more than 3 lakh a day of new cases reported in recent days, crippling the country’s health system.
“Clearly India is in chaos right now. But we’re at least giving people a smile on their face by participating in the tournament, ”said Lynn.
The Mumbai Indians face the Rajasthan Royals on Thursday at Feroz Shah Kotla’s pitch here.
While some Australian players have returned home, their New Zealand counterparts have no such plans.
“There is no doubt that they are certainly worried about what is going on in India and what they are witnessing,” said New Zealand Cricket Players Association general manager Heath Mills.
“But they feel well taken care of by their IPL franchises and safe in their bubbles.”