Three Australian players have left the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 early as the coronavirus crisis worsens in India, with Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson choosing to follow AJ Tye home. And now with news emerging that the Australian government is considering a ban on all flights from India in response to the country’s worsening COVID-19 outbreak, there is a likelihood many more could leave.
While Cricket Australia (CA) has "no plans of calling back players and staff who are there on their own time," a joint statement issued by CA with the Australian player union said, “Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association remain in regular contact with Australian players, coaches and commentators taking part in the Indian Premier League, which is being conducted under strict biosecurity protocols.”
There are now 14 Australian players remaining in the IPL, including Steve Smith, David Warner and Pat Cummins. There are also coaches like Ricky Ponting (Delhi Capitals) and Simon Katich (Royal Challengers Bangalore) and former Australian cricketers turned commentators Matthew Hayden, Brett Lee and Michael Slater.
The National Security Committee on Tuesday is likely to discuss temporarily halting all repatriation flights out of India, which would prevent thousands of Australians – including players in the IPL – from getting home.
The eight-team IPL 2021, which began on April 9, started with matches in Chennai and Mumbai and will now shift to the national capital Delhi and Ahmedabad, cities that have seen a massive surge in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks.
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