Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday 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 Tuesday suspended all direct passenger flights from India with immediate effect until May 15 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Three Australian players — Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa — have withdrawn from the league amid the escalating health crisis.
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. Chris Lynn, who plays for Mumbai Indians, has requested Cricket Australia to arrange a chartered flight to take the players home after the IPL is over. The league matches will end on May 23, followed by the qualifiers (May 25, 28) and eliminator (May 26) and the final (May 30) — all scheduled to be held in Ahmedabad.