Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday that cricketers competing in the IPL will have to make their “own arrangements” to return home after his country banned all flights from India over a second deadly wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Australia on Tuesday suspended all direct passenger flights from India with immediate effect until May 15 due to the “very large” spike in COVID-19 cases.
“They traveled there privately. It was not part of an Australian tour. They are dependent on their own resources and they will also use those resources, I am sure, to see them return to Australia according to their own arrangements, “Morrison said as quoted by” The Guardian “.
Three Australian players – Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa – have withdrawn from the league amid a growing health crisis. India is currently registering over 3 lakh of new cases per day and over 2,000 deaths per day.
Up to 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 (DC) and Simon Katich (RCB) ).
Commentators Matthew Hayden, Brett Lee, Michael Slater and Lisa Sthalekar are also among the Australians involved in the league at the moment.
Chris Lynn, who plays for the Mumbai Indians, has asked Cricket Australia to arrange a chartered flight to bring the players home after the IPL ends.
The league games will end on May 23, followed by the playoffs (May 25 and 28) and eliminators (May 26) and the final (May 30) – all scheduled in Ahmedabad.
Cricket Australia, for its part, has so far taken a wait-and-see approach.
“Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association remain in regular contact with Australian players, coaches and commentators participating in the Indian Premier League, which is held under strict biosecurity protocols,” a statement from the AC said on Monday.
“We will continue to listen to feedback from those on the ground in India and advice from the Australian government. Our hearts go out to the Indian people at this difficult time. “