Australian PM responds to IPL commentator Michael Slater’s ‘blood on your hands’ comment
Australian government has defended the ban as critical to protect public health and quarantine systems.
Updated - May 4, 2021 9:44 am
Former Australian cricketer and cricket commentator Michael Slater, on Monday, took to Twitter to rant at Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his government for banning Australian citizens travelling from India after the conclusion of the ongoing IPL 2021 edition.
The statement came once PM Scott Morrison confirmed there would be no special arrangement to bring back the cricketers currently in India taking part in the Indian Premier League. Notably, Australian player and Mumbai Indians batter, Chris Lynn, had earlier requested an arrangement of chartered flights for all the Australian players participating in this edition after the league’s conclusion.
Instead, the Australian government confirmed that Australian residents and citizens are banned from entering the country within 14 days of being in India, and those who disobey face fines and jail.
Expressing his displeasure, Slater had tweeted “If our Government cared for the safety of Aussies they would allow us to get home. It’s a disgrace!! Blood on your hands PM. How dare you treat us like this. How about you sort out quarantine system,”.
“I had government permission to work on the IPL but I now have government neglect,” added Slater.
PM Morrison responds to Michael Slater
Dismissing Slater’s comments as “absurd” on a morning TV talk show, PM Morrison stated: “What we’re doing here is we’ve got a temporary pause in place because we’ve seen a rapid escalation in the infection rate in people who have travelled out of India.”
Australia’s decision to penalize its citizen comes in the backdrop of India’s tally of COVID-19 infections, which has crossed 20 Million after the nation has reported more than 300,000 new coronavirus cases for the 13th straight day. However, the government’s call has attracted severe backlash from legal experts and human rights advocates for penalizing its citizens in such times.
Meanwhile, the Australian government has defended the ban as critical to protect public health and quarantine systems. Currently, over 8000 Australians are stranded in India, which includes the dozens of them involved in the IPL as players, coaches, or match officials. Earlier, three Australian players (Andrew Tye of Rajasthan Royals and Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa of the Royal Challengers Bangalore) pulled out of the tournament midway due to Covid-19 related concerns.