BCCI said on Tuesday it would do everything to ensure that foreign players participating in the IPL reach their respective countries without problems after the tournament is over, a day after three Australians left the event amid a surge of case of COVID-19 in India.
Andrew Tye (Rajasthan Royals) and the duo of Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa (both Royal Challengers Bangalore) pulled out as apprehension set in after a few weeks for the league which unfolded in front of empty stands on six sites.
“We understand that many of you are worried about how you will get home after the tournament is over… We want to let you know that you have nothing to worry about,” BCCI COO Hemang Amin said in a letter to to the players.
“The BCCI will do everything to ensure that you reach your respective destinations in complete transparency. The BCCI is monitoring the situation very closely and is working with government authorities to make arrangements to bring you home once the tournament is over.
“Rest assured that the tournament is not over for the BCCI until each of you has reached your home safe and sound,” he added.
India is registering more than 3 lakh of cases per day over the past few days and the health infrastructure is struggling to cope with the increase with the shortage of oxygen and some essential drugs compounding the crisis.
Australia on Tuesday suspended all direct passenger flights from India with immediate effect until May 15 due to the “very large” spike in COVID-19 cases.
Kolkata Knight Riders mentor David Hussey admitted that the Australians at IPL are a little “nervous” about returning home following the situation here.
Amin praised the players for continuing.
“As some of you have said, ‘if we can help distract people from all the troubles of the last few days, even if only for a short time, we’ve done a great job. When you all step into the field, you bring hope to the millions of people who have connected.
“If, even for a minute, you can bring a smile to someone’s face, then you have done well. While you are professionals and you will play to win, this time you are also playing for something much more important, ”he concluded.
Several England and New Zealand players are also taking part in the event but have yet to raise concerns. The IPL final is due to take place on May 30 in Ahmedabad.
No less than 14 Australian players remain in the event, including stars such as Steve Smith (DC), David Warner (SunRisers Hyderabad) and Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders), as well as coaches Ricky Ponting (DC) and Simon Katich (RCB).
Commentators Matthew Hayden, Brett Lee, Michael Slater and Lisa Sthalekar are also among the Australians involved in the league at the moment.