Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on 27 April said cricketers competing in the IPL will have to make their “own arrangements” to return home after his country banned all flights from India in the wake of a deadly second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic there.
Australia on 27 April suspended all direct passenger flights from India with immediate effect until 15 May due to the “very significant” spike in Covid-19 cases. “They have travelled there privately. This wasn’t part of an Australian tour. They’re under their own resources and they’ll be using those resources too, I’m sure, to see them return to Australia in accordance with their own arrangements,” Morrison said.
Three Australian players — Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa — have withdrawn from the league amid the escalating health crisis.
India is recording over 3 lakh daily new cases and more than 2,000 deaths per day right now.
As many as 14 Australian players still remain in the IPL, including Steve Smith (Delhi Capitals), David Warner (SunRisers Hyderabad) and Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders) as well as coach Ricky Ponting (DC) and Simon Katich (RCB).
Commentators Matthew Hayden, Brett Lee, Michael Slater and Lisa Sthalekar are also among the Australians involved with the league right now.
The league matches will end on 23 May, followed by the qualifiers (25, 28 May) and eliminator (26 May) and the final (30 May) — all scheduled to be held in Ahmedabad.
Cricket Australia, on its part, has adopted a wait and watch approach for now.
“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,” a CA statement read on 26 April.
“We will continue to listen to feedback from those on the ground in India and the advice of the Australian government. Our thoughts are with the people of India at this difficult time.”