Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said the country’s cricketers currently competing in the Indian Premier League will not be prioritized for a return home.
Australia has suspended direct flights from India until at least May 15, which is fighting an additional battle in the coronavirus case.
“It’s done on vulnerability,” Morrison says. “Under this arrangement, they (players) traveled there in person, it was not part of any Australia tour.”
Morrison added: “They are under their own resources and they will be using those resources, I’m sure, and will see them return to Australia.”
Australian players Andrew Tie, Adam Zampa, and Ken Richardson have already returned from the IPL, which is played under the Biosecurity Protocol.
However, Pat Cummins, Steve Smith, David Warner, Chris Lynn, and Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting are in India, where more than one million Covid-19 cases have been recorded in just a few days.
Mumbai Indians batsman Lynn said he had asked Cricket Australia to arrange a charter flight after the IPL was contacted by the governing body about the players’ health and travel plans.
I texted that Cricket Australia pays 10% of every IPL contract, can we spend this money on charter flights this year after the tournament is over? ”Lynn told News Corporation.
“We didn’t want a shortcut and we signed up knowing the risks. But it would be great to get home as soon as the event is over.”
The league format of the tournament will end before the play-off on May 23 and the final on May 30.
England limited-overs captain Eion Morgan, who captains the Kolkata Knight Riders, said the tournament should continue until the Covid-19 fights are hampered.
New Zealand has the majority of players in the IPL, including Kane Williamson, Trent Bolt, Kyle Jamieson, and Mitchell Santner.
Heath Mills, chief executive of the New Zealand Cricket Players Association, said: “They are certainly concerned about what is happening in India and what they are witnessing, no doubt about it.”
“But they are being taken care of by their IPL franchises and feeling safe in their bubbles.”