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Umpire Menon pulls out of IPL; Reiffel's exit stalled

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Laxmi Negi
Last updated on: April 29, 2021 14:12 IST
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Nitin Menon

IMAGE: Umpire Nitin Menon during an Indian Premier League match. Photograph: BCCI/IPL
 

India's top umpire Nitin Menon has pulled out of the ongoing IPL after his family was struck by a couple of COVID-19 cases, while his Australian counterpart Paul Reiffel's attempts at leaving hit a dead end because of his country's suspension of air travel with India.

It is learnt that Menon, a resident of Indore, has left the IPL bio-bubble after his wife and mother tested positive for COVID-19.

Menon is the only Indian in the ICC elite panel of umpires and was recently praised for his work during India's home series against England.

"Yes, Nitin has left as his immediate family members have COVID-19 and he is currently not in a mental state to conduct games," a BCCI official said.

In Reiffel's case, the Australian government's imposition of a travel ban on flights to and from India in the wake of the rising COVID-19 cases, in India, led to him being unable to leave the bubble after initial information suggested that he has made the move.

'I tried to, but the flight through Doha, I wasn't able to go through as an Australian,' Reiffel told the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age on Thursday from his hotel in Ahmedabad.

'They shut the avenue off. I know a couple of the guys got back that way through there, but the avenue was closed so I had to stay. Yesterday, I was booked to go, but it got cancelled,' he said.

Reiffel will, therefore, now go back only after the end of the tournament on May 30.

'I was 10 minutes away from leaving the bubble, so I'm very lucky,' Reiffel said.

Menon is the second Indian to pull out of the tournament after Delhi Capitals off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who also went home after family members tested positive.

Three Australians -- Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa -- left for Australia due to the unprecedented health crisis in India.

However, the BCCI is going ahead with the tournament and interim CEO Hemang Amin has assured all players and support staff that they remain safe in the bio-bubble.

BCCI is likely to replace Menon with an umpire from its pool of umpires.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Laxmi Negi© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

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