Australian players may be a little apprehensive after the cancellation of flights from India, but Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting said it was a “minor problem” compared to the confusion caused by the second wave of COVID-19 infections here.
Australia suspended all direct passenger flights from India until Tuesday, May 15, due to a “very significant” spike in the COVID-19 cases in India.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also made it clear that cricketers competing in the IPL must make their own arrangements for their return home.
“It has been revealed that our government has done this until the Australians return to Australia in India. No doubt, but travel is just a minor issue for us and the Australians here,” Ponting told a virtual press conference after losing by one run to Royal Challengers Bangalore.
“Every day, we think about what is happening outside and understand how blessed we are to be doing what we are doing. Hopefully, there are a lot of people in India who enjoy watching IPL cricket.
Three Australian players have exited the tournament amid a growing health crisis, with Mumbai Indians batsman Chris Lynn requesting Cricket Australia to arrange a chartered flight to take them home after the event.
The BCCI has already promised to make arrangements for the return of foreign players after the tournament.
The second wave of the COVID-19 epidemic has engulfed India and the country has been registering 3 lakh daily cases in the last few days, with health infrastructure damaged.
In the wake of the unprecedented health crisis, India and DC spinner Ravichandran Ashwin have decided to take a break from the tournament with his family.
“It’s a really strange feeling in our team right now. We know very well what’s going on outside and in India at the moment. Naturally, our hearts go out to everyone who is struggling with COVID-19 in Indian society,” Ponting said.
“We also left one of our players, Ravichandran Ashwin left to be with his family. It affects, we talk about it more than most teams.”
Commenting on a one-run defeat to RCB, Ponting said, “Our last game went to the Super Over and against RCB, we lost by one run. It only keeps you in good shape when it gets bigger in the backend. We won three games in four days, we need to learn.
“The team was disappointing, but also proud of how the boys fought. We do not over-analyze.”
DC will take on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) here on Thursday.
New Zealand pacer Kyle Jamison, who bought RCB for Rs 15 crore, initially said he could not handle the pressure with the high price tag.
“I just ignored it in my mind a little bit and thought it was good, and I tried to focus on what I could control … going into the Australia series we were playing in the first two weeks, I did not manage the magnitude of the situation as much as I could,” he said.
“This (price tag) is definitely not on my mind. Yes the first month, six weeks after the auction was tough and I learned from what I was in good condition.”