IPL 2021: R Ashwin leads the COVID-19 exodus; Zampa, Richardson is also retiring

Ravichandran Ashwin has decided to cut his Indian Premier League (IPL) season short to support his “family and extended family”. Australian runner Andrew Tye, along with his compatriots leg thrower Adam Zampa and versatile Kane Richardson, are also returning home. Earlier, English drummer Liam Livingstone had retired citing bubble fatigue. A grim Covid scenario outside has started to penetrate the IPL bubble.

So far, 20 games have been played in this year’s tournament with 40 games remaining. After the stages of Mumbai and Chennai, the tournament moves to Delhi and Ahmedabad for the next phase. The final phase of the group league fixtures would be played in Bangalore and Kolkata. Amid a heated debate over whether or not the 2021 IPL should continue, Australian and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) fast bowler Pat Cummins donated $ 50,000 to the PM Cares Fund.

The first game in Delhi takes place on Wednesday, between Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad. The city suffers from a severe shortage of oxygen. Delhi recorded 22,933 new cases of Covid and 350 deaths on Sunday. And Ashwin, the India and Delhi Capitals off-spinner, has decided to quit the tournament.

“I would take a break from this year’s IPL starting tomorrow. My family and extended family are fighting # COVID19 and I want to support them during these difficult times. I hope to come back and play if things go in the right direction. Thank you @DelhiCapitals, ”Ashwin tweeted after the game against Sunrisers on Sunday.

A few days ago, Ashwin’s wife, Prithi, pointed out that the virus had arrived at their doorstep. KKR assistant coach David Hussey told The Age on Sunday that some of the players were getting “nervous”. And a franchise executive told the newspaper that “a large part” of the off-field conversations within the team revolved around the situation away from home. “There are players and / or support staff on the team whose loved ones have been affected by the virus. It’s not easy, ”he said.

Three Australians leave

In the wake of Ashwin’s tweet, came a Twitter message from RCB, confirming the departure of Zampa and Richardson. “Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson are back in Australia for personal reasons and will not be available for the remainder of # IPL2021. The management of Royal Challengers Bangalore respects their decision and offers them full support, ”he said.

On Sunday, Tye, the average pacemaker of the Rajasthan Royals, flew from Mumbai to Doha on their way to Sydney. According to the official Cricket Australia website, this follows the decision of the Australian federal government “to stop nearly a third of flights from India due to the surge in coronavirus cases”. India recorded more than 3.52 lakh new cases of Covid-19 in the 24 hours ending at 8 a.m. on Monday.

Many countries, including Australia and the UK, have either banned or reduced the number of flights from India. It made a lot of players anxious to return home after IPL. The T20 league now boasts 14 Australian players, including big names like Steve Smith, David Warner, Glenn Maxwell and Cummins, as well as Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting.

Cricket Australia maintains regular contact with players and on Monday CA and the Australian Cricketers ‘Association issued a joint statement saying: “Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association remain in regular contact with participating Australian players, coaches and commentators. to the Indian Premier League, which is conducted under strict biosecurity protocols.

“We will continue to listen to feedback from those on the ground in India and advice from the Australian government.

“Our hearts are with the Indian people at this difficult time.”

Anguish pierces the bubble

This article understands that players and support staff are not concerned about the safety of bubbles because they feel safe inside. But the external situation started to have an impact on the IPL. On Saturday, speaking to internal media, Ponting said, “We are currently probably the safest people in the country being in the bubbles we are in. I continually ask the boys at breakfast every day how everything is going. outside, how is the family… ”

Australia and Mumbai Indians Nathan Coulter-Nile did the same. “I was surprised to see AJ (Tye) come home, then Zamps (Zampa) and Richo (Richardson), but when you talk to them you really understand where they’re coming from,” Coulter-Nile told cricket.com .au, adding: “I spoke to Zamps some time ago and he made a very compelling case for going home. But for me, I think it’s safer for me to stay in the bubble than trying to get home right now.

The general feeling is that while life in the bubble is difficult, figures like Livingstone (Royals) and Josh Hazlewood (Chennai Super Kings) have pulled out of the IPL, staying indoors is much safer in the current situation. .

BCCI supports its biosafety devices and security measures, including daily testing and bio-bubble application agents. In addition, separate IPL check-in counters have been installed at airports. And there is a school of thought that the IPL has been a distress hunter for the duration of the matches. “Even though the country is in such a situation as it is, I think cricket can still bring a lot of joy to people,” Ponting said.

Additionally, in informal conversations with this document, some IPL stakeholders pointed out that assembly elections were taking place in the country, with rallies and public rallies for political campaigns. On Monday, however, the Madras High Court lambasted the Indian Election Commission for its “irresponsible” behavior.

Cummins donates to fund oxygen supply

Pat Cummins works as a pacemaker for KKR. (Deposit)

Pat Cummins donated $ 50,000 to the PM Cares Fund to purchase oxygen supplies for Indian hospitals. In a Twitter post on Monday, the Knight Riders of Australia and Kolkata quick pitcher wrote: “As players, we are privileged to have a platform that allows us to reach millions of people we can use for good. With this in mind, I made a contribution to the PM Cares Fund, specifically to purchase oxygen supplies for Indian hospitals. “

Cummins also urged other players to come forward as India is waging a tough battle against the pandemic. “I encourage my fellow IPL players – and anyone else in the world who has been touched by India’s passion and generosity – to contribute. I’ll start with $ 50,000. “

At a time when several Indian cities are facing an oxygen shortage, Cummins, Australian vice-captain of the Test, has stepped forward in the hope that his contribution “will make a difference for someone”. He also said he had been “informed that the Indian government believes that playing IPL while the population is in lockdown provides a few hours of joy and respite each day at an otherwise difficult time for the country” .

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