With the second wave of the pandemic ravaging India and cases reaching new highs by the day, fear is mounting among Australia’s cricket contingent in the Indian Premier League. While none of the big names are likely to drop their participation and return home in a panic, many are skeptical, according to an article in The Age.
Some of them are getting “nervous,” according to former Australian drummer and Kolkata Knight Riders assistant coach David Hussey. “Everyone is a little nervous about being able to go back to Australia. I dare say there will be a few other Australians who are a little nervous about going back to Australia, ”he told The Age.
One of their worst fears is that Australia will close the border to passengers from India to the country, which has seen a steep decline in recent months but is highly wary of the double mutant strain which is widely seen. as responsible for the second wave in India. The newspaper, however, claimed negotiations had started on how to bring Australian cricketers and support staff home.
“Talks are underway to arrange a charter flight for Australian players and Indian coaches at the end of the tournament … Talks had started to allow players to return quite easily at the end of the tournament,” he said. .
The IPL has up to 17 Australian cricketers, including big names like Pat Cummins, David Warner, Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell, in addition to coaches and support staff like Ricky Ponting and David Hussey.
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Although the IPL bio-bubble was more or less secure, with the people inside being tested every other day, they could not help but be affected by the prevailing mood in India of disillusionment. Hussey said that every day they learned that relatives or friends of their Indian teammates or support staff were infected or were dying. “Some players, their fathers are deceased. One person in particular is one of the staff with us, and his dad passed away last year from COVID, and he was really pragmatic in saying it was time for him to go, ”he said. he declared.
No matter how hard they try to cut themselves off from the outside world, they cannot escape the information and images circulating in the media. “It’s on the radar. It’s in the news every minute of the day. You see people in hospital beds. It puts a lot of things into perspective. In fact, we had a chat after the game last night about how lucky we are to play the game and try to entertain people all over the world. Everyone’s pretty nervous about what’s going on here, but they’re also pragmatic, ”Hussey said.
One of the Australians, Andrew Tye of the Rajasthan Royals, has already returned home citing personal reasons. His compatriot Billy Stanlake has turned down a contract with the Chennai Super Kings as a last-minute replacement for Josh Hazlewood, apparently due to the gravity of the situation in India.
However, Hussey said he and the Kolkata Knight Riders wanted to continue participating in the tournament. “From Calcutta’s point of view, we desperately want the tournament to continue, just because everyone is stuck, there isn’t much else to do,” he said.
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IPL Can Bring Joy to People: Ponting
Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting said he believes the IPL can “bring a lot of joy” to people in India, speaking to the DC media team.
“Right now we’re probably the safest people in the country being in the bubbles we’re in. I continually ask the boys at breakfast every day how everything is going outside… We have to talk about what is going on outside because it’s pretty dark, ”Ponting said.
“Even though the country is in such a situation as it is, I think cricket can still bring a lot of joy to people,” he said.