Foreign cricketers playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) have been assured to arrange their travel home at the end of the tournament.
The BCCI’s promise to bring everyone home came the day Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said IPL players would not be given priority for travel. Australia on Tuesday announced a ban on all air traffic from India until May 15 following a surge in coronavirus cases.
In an email to the teams and players, the BCCI Acting General Manager said the Indian Cricket Council is in contact with government authorities to confirm travel plans for foreign cricketers at the end of the tournament. .
Three Australians have decided to leave IPL prematurely over the past three days citing “personal reasons”. India reported nearly 320,000 cases of Covid-19 and 2,762 deaths on Monday.
The BCCI email sought to allay fears that foreign players were stranded in India due to travel restrictions.
“We understand that many of you are apprehensive about going home after the tournament is over, which is natural and understandable. We want to let you know that you have nothing to fear. BCCI will do everything to ensure that you reach your respective destinations in a transparent manner.
“BCCI is monitoring the situation very closely and is working with government authorities to make arrangements to get you home once the tournament is over. Rest assured that the tournament is not over for BCCI until each of you has arrived home safe and sound, ”BCCI Acting General Manager Hemang Amin wrote in an email to the teams, players and support staff.
Adam Zampa, who is expected to return home, told The Age and Herald on Tuesday that the ‘catastrophic Covid situation’, ‘bubble fatigue’ and ‘lack of motivation’ were the reasons why he had decided to return to Australia.
Mumbai Indians drummer Chris Lynn was the latest player to worry about his return home. He told News Corp media that he asked Cricket Australia to charter a flight for the players after the tournament is over. But Morrison’s statement and the travel ban meant there was no guarantee cricketers could return by plane at the end of their respective IPL stints.
“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.
“ Quite dire situation ”
Zampa’s teammate at Royal Challengers Bangalore Kane Richardson and Andrew Tye of Rajasthan Royals are the other two who left for Australia before the travel ban was enforced.
“Obviously, the COVID situation here is pretty dire. I felt fair, in training and stuff, obviously I wasn’t playing in the team either, I was going to train and I couldn’t find the motivation, ”Zampa told The Age and The Herald. .
“[There were] a few other things like bubble fatigue and the chance to come home after all the news is out about the flights and everything. I thought this was the best time to make the call. “
A total of 35 Australians are part of the IPL, including 13 players, 11 coaches, four commentators, two referees and four support staff.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Cricket Australia said it has “ regular dialogues with players, coaches, match officials and on-pitch commentators in India ”. “We will continue to liaise closely with the Australian government following today’s announcement that direct flights from India to Australia will be suspended until May 15 …”
The interim CEO’s email also attempted to justify the reasons for hosting the tournament as the second wave swept through India with record cases and deaths.
“While you play this sport we all love it, you also do something really important. As some of you have said, “If we can help distract people from all the troubles of recent times, even if it’s for a short time, we’ve done a great job.” When you all step out into the field, you bring hope to the millions of people who have connected. If, even for a minute, you can make someone smile, then you have done the right thing. While you are professionals and you will play to win, this time you are also playing for something much more…. humanity.”
Beijing Olympic Games gold medalist, India Abhinav Bindra wrote in The Indian Express about how cricketers “should realize how privileged they are to be able to play IPL in these times. “.
The IPL is played in six rooms, but in a progressive way. The first leg of the tournament took place in Chennai and Mumbai while the second, which started on Monday, will take place in Ahmedabad and Delhi. Bangalore and Kolkata are the other venues and the play-offs and final will take place in Ahmedabad. The Championship games will end on May 23, followed by the playoffs on May 25-28, the eliminator on May 26 and the final on May 30.