Australia’s ban on Indian travelers has added “anxiety” to its cricketers following the suspension from the Indian Premier League (IPL), Australian vice-captain Pat Cummins said, as lone players in the country ravaged by COVID on Wednesday.
The Australian government has banned its citizens from returning home within 14 days of arriving in India on pain of fines and jail, leaving dozens of IPL players, coaches and officials stranded.
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Australian fast bowler Cummins isolates himself at an Ahmedabad hotel after two of his Kolkata Knight Riders teammates contracted COVID-19 before organizers ended the tournament on Tuesday.
Cummins said the Australia travel ban, which will be revised on May 15, was a “little” shock.
“Obviously no one has experienced this before,” he told Australian TV station. Fox sports.
“It added a bit of anxiety for some of the Australians here. But we have signed up to play the tournament until early June.
“I hope everything reopens on May 15 and we can come back.”
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With 3.45 million active cases, India recorded 357,229 new infections on Tuesday, while deaths increased from 3,449 to 222,408.
Cummins’ comments came as Delhi capitals confirmed that legspinner Amit Mishra had tested positive for COVID-19 and had been transferred to a designated medical facility.
Three IPL teams have now confirmed cases of COVID-19, with a fourth team, Sunrisers Hyderabad, reported having a positive test returned by batter-keeper Wriddhiman Saha.
As the day wore on, Australian Chennai Super Kings batting coach Mike Hussey tested positive for COVID-19.
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Hussey is believed to be the third case of the team, which went into self-isolation after announcing on Tuesday that bowling coach L. Balaji and a travel staff member tested positive.
Australia currently allows only limited flights and arrivals into the country, and about a quarter of the 35,000 Australians stranded abroad are in India.
Australia’s decision to penalize its citizens for seeking to return home from India has sparked a backlash from lawmakers, legal experts and human rights advocates.
Australian Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the government would “potentially” lift the travel ban on May 15.
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“We’ve always said we’re going to revisit the break in travel arrangements and that’s what we do, so be patient,” McCormack said on a morning TV show on the Nine Network.
English and Bangladeshi IPL cricketers also face challenges when leaving India due to travel restrictions imposed by national authorities.
BCCI, for their part, said they would help players, staff and officials return home safely.
Former Australian goalkeeper and cricketer expert Adam Gilchrist asked if the tournament should have been held in India.
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“Interesting comment on BCCI saying… they are thinking about the safety of all players,” he said in a video on Sky News.
“I probably feel like they’re a bit behind in their thinking. I’m not sure the tournament should have started in India.”
New Zealand, which has 10 players in the IPL, said its cricketers were “in a relatively safe environment” and those from affected teams were isolated.
The country’s cricket council said it was liaising with authorities to develop an exit plan.