May 6, 2021 2:29:30 pm
The Indian Premier League’s Australian cohort has been transported to the Maldives after the tournament’s abrupt suspension over the coronavirus crisis in India.
In a joint statement, Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association confirmed their players, coaching staff and match officials were safely transported to the Maldives. “We can confirm that Australian players, coaches, match officials and commentators have been safely transported from India and are en route to the Maldives,” the statement read.
Official Update | We can confirm that Australian players, coaches, match officials and commentators have been safely transported from India and are en route to the Maldives. pic.twitter.com/mZQT2RlvBv
— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) May 6, 2021
International cricketers started heading home on Wednesday after the previous day’s halt of the Twenty20 competition, as India grapples with a sweeping second wave of infections. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had promised safe return passage for every foreigner involved in the lucrative eight-team league.
“They will all be fine. They are all looked after and they will all reach home,” former India captain Sourav Ganguly and head of BCCI told the Indian Express. “The Australians will reach the Maldives tomorrow, finish their quarantine and then reach Australia safely. So I don’t see any issue.”
Australia has banned travellers from India, even its own citizens, until May 15. Meanwhile, Former Australia batsman and Chennai Super Kings batting coach Michael Hussey, who tested positive for the virus, will have to wait for a negative report test before he can fly out of the country. CSK fly Hussey into Chennai in air ambulance and captain MS Dhoni leave for Ranchi on Thursday afternoon.
“CA and the ACA will work closely with the BCCI to ensure Mike’s safe return to Australia when it is safe to do so,” the Australian board said.
IPL’s New Zealand contingent will fly home on Friday, the country’s cricket board said. Skipper Kane Williamson and three others will stay in India until next week before departing for England, New Zealand Cricket said in a statement. The players in the squad for a Test tour of England, which includes the inaugural World Test Championship final against India from June 18 to 22, are set to go straight to Britain after the conclusion of the IPL.
Williamson, Kyle Jamieson and Mitchell Santner, along with the team physiotherapist, were unable to secure an exemption to travel to Britain until May 11, so they will remain in New Delhi until then. “Trent Boult will return home briefly to see his family before reconnecting with the Test squad in early June, possibly in time to be picked for the second test against England but certainly in time for the (World Test Championship) final,” the NZC said in a statement.
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