Australian referee Paul Reiffel, who along with Indian referee Nitin Menon recently decided to withdraw from IPL 2021 for “ personal reasons ”, was unable to leave India. Reiffel will now serve the remainder of the competition and will not return home until after the tournament has concluded, according to Australian media.
Reiffel told Sydney Morning Herald Thursday from his hotel in Ahmedabad that his bags were packed and tickets booked for a flight to Sydney from Doha – only to be told he should stay. “I tried to leave, but the flight through Doha I couldn’t get through as an Australian,” Reiffel said.
“They closed the avenue. I know a few guys came back through there, but the avenue was closed so I had to stay, ”said Reiffel.
Reiffel, a former Australian international cricketer, is currently a member of the elite ICC referee panel.
READ | Referee Nitin Menon steps down from IPL 2021
Reiffel said on Thursday he was 10 minutes away from leaving the IPL bio-bubble when he learned he would not be allowed to travel to Australia via Doha.
If Reiffel had left the bio-bubble before discovering the change in travel plans, he would have been stuck. He should then have completed a period of self-isolation before he could participate in the remainder of the IPL season.