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IPL exodus: Aussies to reach Maldives by chartered flight

Last updated on: May 05, 2021 17:41 IST
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'They are working with their IPL franchises and some franchises have been good at assisting and others haven't.'

IMAGE: Cricket Australia said there is a plan to get the 38-strong contingent of Australian players, coaches, umpires and media pundits out of India by chartered flight "in the next two or three days". Photograph: BCCI

Australian cricketers, involved in the suspended IPL, will soon fly to Maldives in a chartered flight and wait there till Australia opens its borders to receive them, an official said on Wednesday.

 

Australia has sealed its borders to travellers from India until May 15 due to the devastating second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that forced the postponement of the League.

The 38-member Australian contingent that has players, coaches, umpires and commentators, chose to wait in Maldives until the borders re-open.

"All Australians are assembling in Delhi beginning today and from there they will head to Maldives by a chartered flight," a KKR team official, who did not wish to be named, said.

Chennai Super Kings batting coach Mike Hussey, who is the only Australian to have tested positive, however will have to stay back to serve a 10-day quarantine in India.

The 38-strong contingent of Australian players, coaches, umpires and media pundits will have to wait longer, though, to get home, in the face of a ban on arrivals from India until at least May 15.

Earlier, Cricket Australia said there is a plan to get them out of the pandemic-ravaged country by chartered flight 'in the next two or three days'.

"What the BCCI are working to do is to move the entire cohort out of India where they will wait until it's possible to return to Australia," CA interim Chief Executive Nick Hockley told reporters in Sydney.

"That's now narrowed down to the Maldives and Sri Lanka. The BCCI are committed not only to the first move, but also to putting on a charter to bring them back to Australia."

The CA official refused to speculate if the league could resume this year.

"I think it's premature to speculate on that," he said.

"At the moment, the BCCI are very focused on getting all the players, not just the Australians, home safe."

Players' union boss Todd Greenberg said the cricketers are under an "enormous amount of stress" in India.

"The public will see our best Australian cricketers as almost superheroes ... but they are human beings," the chief executive of the Australian Cricketers' Association said.

India's coronavirus deaths rose by a record 3,780 during the last 24 hours, a day after it became the second country to cross 20 million infections, after the United states.

While the Indian cricket board (BCCI) has promised safe passage for the players and officials, New Zealand Cricket said all of their players were isolating in team hotels in India.

An NZC spokesman said captain Kane Williamson and several of his team mates had already been booked to join rest of the test side in England next month.

"We haven’t got the finer details of that sorted yet. We’re working now with the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) and BCCI to arrange flights to get them over to England," the spokesman said.

New Zealand players' union boss Heath Mills said the cricketers were 'pretty anxious now and pretty keen to come home'.

"They are working with their IPL franchises and some franchises have been good at assisting and others haven’t," Mills told media.

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