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MS Dhoni delays return to Ranchi till all his CSK teammates depart

In a virtual meeting with his teammates, Dhoni said that since the IPL is happening in India, the foreign players and support staff should get the preference to travel first to reach their homes abroad. And the Indian team players will later depart for home.

Written by Devendra Pandey |
Updated: May 8, 2021 8:32:34 am
dhoniMahendra Singh Dhoni could not be reached immediately for comments. In April 2016, Dhoni had resigned as brand ambassador of Amrapali, which is now defunct. (File)

Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has informed his Chennai Super Kings (CSK) teammates that he will be the last person to board the flight back home.

Dhoni has said that he will wait for the foreigners to leave first and the other Indian players next before he goes home from Delhi, where the team is based.

In a virtual meeting with his teammates, Dhoni said that since the IPL is happening in India, the foreign players and support staff should get the preference to travel first to reach their homes abroad. And the Indian team players will later depart for home.

“Mahibhai said that he will be the last person to leave the hotel. He wanted foreigners to leave first, then the Indian players. He will be taking the last flight tomorrow when everyone reaches their home safe and secure,” a member of CSK told The Indian Express.

CSK organised a charter flight for its players from Delhi. A ten-seater flight carrying CSK players went to Rajkot and Mumbai in the morning while the evening charter plane dropped players from Bangalore and Chennai. Dhoni is scheduled to fly on Thursday evening to his home in Ranchi.

Teams like Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab also organised charter flights for its Indian players while Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Sunrisers Hyderabad players boarded commercial flights to their respective destinations.

Many players took cabs to reach their respective destinations – from Ahmedabad to Mumbai and from Delhi to Punjab.

Maldives stop for Aussies

The Indian Express understands that BCCI is helping the franchises to book a combined charter flight for Australian players, support staff and umpires who were part of IPL. The Australians have preferred the Maldives for their stay until flights to Australia resume. The Australian players are expected to fly to the Maldives by May 6.

The Indian board had given two options — the Maldives and Sri Lanka — for Australian players to fly to before their country lifts the ban on citizens travelling from India. The Australian government had shut all flights from India until May 15 after India saw a steep rise in the Covid-19 cases in the past few weeks. On Tuesday, BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal had said, “We stand by our word that for us, the IPL is not complete until our players and officials reach their homes safe and secure. We are working on that and will come out with a detailed plan in two days.”

The commentator from Australia Michael Slater is already in the Maldives and has been firing barbs at Australia’s prime minister John Morrison. “Amazing to smoke out the PM on a matter that is a human crisis. The panic, the fear of every Australian in India is real! How about you take your private jet and come and witness dead bodies on the street!” he tweeted on Wednesday.

Three-day quarantine

The BCCI has informed all Indian players and support staff that they will have to undergo three days of isolation at home and another RT-PCR Test will be conducted on the third day after their arrival.

UK players reach home

Eight of the 11 UK players who took part in IPL have reached their country. The other three – Eoin Morgan, Dawid Malan, and Chris Jordan – are expected to reach in a couple of days. Mooen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Sam Billings, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Jason Roy, and Chris Woakes are the eight who have reached and are quarantining in government-approved hotels.

This also means that the players will be available for the Test series against New Zealand at home in June.

Bangladesh players wait

Shakib Al Hasan and Muztafizur Rahman will soon be taking a chartered flight back home from Delhi. Commercial flights from India have been banned by the Bangladesh government since April 24 and the players will have to undergo 14-day quarantine after they reach.

South Africans leave

The 11 South African players have left for their country as there have been no restrictions imposed by their government on air travel.

They will be quarantined once they reach. Ab de Villiers, Quinton de Kock, Marco Jansen, Faf du Plessis, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Chris Morris, David Miller, and Gerald Coetzee are the players in the tournament.

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