Maldives to the rescue after suspended IPL, travel bans leaves Australians in limbo

Maldives to the rescue after suspended IPL, travel bans leaves Australians in limbo

The BCCI has been busy working out with franchises to find the safest way for players to reach home.

Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

After the sudden cancellation of the Indian Premier League, most of the Australian players, commentators, support staff members have been stuck due to the current closure of the Australian border to citizens travelling from India due to the massive rise of Covid-19 in the nation.

Notably, Australian PM Scott Morrison had denied a request for a special arrangement to bring back the cricketers currently in India taking part in the Indian Premier League. The Australian government has cited the ban as crucial to protect the health of the Australian public and quarantine systems and the restrictions are expected to stay in place until 15th May.

There are around 40 Australians in the IPL bubble comprising players, coaching staff, and commentators, which includes Michael Slater, who called out PM Morrison on Twitter for the decision of the government penalizing its own citizens. While Slater has already headed to the Maldives as a temporary post until the Australian government lifts the ban, the likes of Pat Cummins, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Ricky Ponting, Simon Katich are expected to take the same route after the cancellation of the league midway.

CA in direct contact with the BCCI for safe repatriation of Australians

Cricket Australia’s interim chief executive Nick Hockley, team performance chief Ben Oliver and the Australian Cricketers’ Association CEO Todd Greenberg were all in urgent meetings on Tuesday night aimed at clarifying the situation.

“Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association understand the decision of the BCCI to indefinitely postpone the 2021 Indian Premier League for the safety and wellbeing of all participants,” a joint statement from CA and ACA said.

“CA is in direct contact with the BCCI as they work through plans to ensure the safe accommodation and repatriation of Australian players, coaches, match officials, and commentators back home to Australia. CA and the ACA respect the decision of the Australian Government to pause travel from India until at least May 15 and will not seek exemptions. CA and the ACA thank the BCCI for their efforts and cooperation for the safe repatriation of all participants at the IPL.”

Meanwhile, the BCCI has been busy working out with franchises to find the safest way for players to reach home. On Monday, Hockley had stated that there had been “no suggestion at the moment” of a charter flight for the Australians in the IPL.