IPL 2020 in UAE felt safer, says RCB's Adam Zampa

Australian cricketers Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson will fly out of Mumbai while their IPL team- Royal Challengers Bangalore is in Ahmedabad for the next leg of the tournament.

Zampa, alongwith Richardson, will fly to Australia via Doha- Sportzpics

Australian cricketers Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson, who had opted out of the Indian Premier League citing personal reasons, will fly back to their country on Tuesday night via Doha.

"They (the duo) will be flying back to Australia via Doha later tonight," a well placed source told PTI.

The two are currently in Mumbai while their franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore has moved to Ahmedabad, where it will be taking on Delhi Capitals tonight.

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Zampa said he felt a lot safer in the UAE where the IPL was held last year.

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"We've been in a few (bubbles) now, and I feel like this is probably the most vulnerable. I just feel like because it's India, we're always being told about the hygiene over here and being extra careful... I just felt like it was the most vulnerable."

"The IPL that was held in Dubai six months ago didn't feel that way at all. I felt like that was extremely safe. Personally, I feel like that would have been a better option originally for this IPL, but obviously, there's a lot of political stuff that goes into it.

Talking about the IPL as preparation for players for the upcoming T20 World Cup, the leg-spinner said, "Obviously there's the T20 World Cup that's meant to be happening here later this year. That's probably going to be the next discussion in the cricket world. Six months is a long time."

Zampa, who did not get a game this season after being bought for Rs 1.5 crore, said a lot of factors contributed to his decision to leave the IPL.

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"Obviously the COVID situation over here is pretty dire. I just felt, rocking up to training and stuff, obviously, I wasn't playing in the team as well, I was going to training and I wasn't finding the motivation.

"There were a few other things like bubble fatigue and the chance to get home, once all the news broke about the flights and everything. I thought this was the best time to make the call."

There are contrasting views on whether the IPL should continue amid the raging second COVID wave in India.

On that subject, Zampa said, "There's a lot of people coming out and saying games of cricket could be a reprieve for some people but that's also going to be a personal answer. Someone who has a family member on their death bed probably doesn't care about the cricket."

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Zampa has no regrets about the financial loss he suffered by withdrawing from the lucrative league.

"I feel like for leaving anyone leaving halfway through a tournament, it's definitely a financial sacrifice. But from my point of view, I wanted to put my mental health first." He also lauded fellow Australian Pat Cummins, who has donated USD 50,000 to help purchase oxygen supplies for India's severely strained hospitals.

"Obviously really generous. I think we'll probably see more of it now. My thoughts go out to everyone over here. I understand how dire the situation is. It's bigger than cricket."

Rajasthan Royals pacer Andrew Tye has exited the country due to the COVID-19 surge.

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As of now, the IPL still has 14 Australian players, including the likes of Steve Smith (Delhi Capitals), David Warner (SunRisers Hyderabad) and Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders).

Ricky Ponting (DC) and Simon Katich (Royal Challengers Bangalore) are among the high-profile Australian coaches, while former players such as Matthew Hayden, Brett Lee and Lisa Sthalekar are part of the tournament's commentary team.

Australia on Tuesday suspended flights from and to India till May 15 because of the pandemic's second wave that is ravaging the country.

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