The Australian cohort of the Indian Premier League was transported to the Maldives after the tournament was abruptly stopped due to the coronavirus crisis in India.
In a joint statement, Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association confirmed that their players, coaching staff and match officials had been safely transported to the Maldives. “We can verify that the Australian players, coaches, match officers and commentators have been safely transported from India to the Maldives,” the statement said.
Official update | We can ensure that Australian players, coaches, match officials and commentators are safely transported from India to the Maldives. pic.twitter.com/mZQT2RlvBv
– Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) May 6, 2021
International cricketers started returning home on Wednesday after stopping the Twenty20 tournament on Wednesday as India faced a second wave of infections. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has promised a secure return passage to every foreigner participating in the league of eight lucrative teams.
“They are all fine. They are all taken care of and they all go home,” former India captain Sourav Ganguly and BCCI chief told the Indian Express. “The Australians will arrive in the Maldives tomorrow, end their detention and then safely return to Australia. So I do not see any problem.”
Until May 15, Australia banned travelers to India, as well as its own citizens. Meanwhile, former Australia batsman and Chennai Super Kings batting coach Michael Hussey, tested positive for the virus, said he should wait for a negative report test before flying outside the country. CSK Fly Hussey was sent to Chennai by air ambulance and captain MS Dhoni left for Ranchi on Thursday afternoon.
“The CA and ACA will work with the BCCI to ensure Mike returns safely to Australia when he is safe,” the Australian board said.
The New Zealand cricket team will return home on Friday, the country’s cricket board said. New Zealand Cricket said in a statement that captain Kane Williamson and three others will remain in India until next week before leaving for England. The players in the squad for the England Test tour, including the opening World Test Championship final with India from 18 to 22 June, are ready to go straight to Britain after the end of the IPL.
Williamson, Kyle Jamison and Michelle Shantner, along with team physiotherapists, could not be excluded from traveling to Britain until May 11, so they will remain in New Delhi until then. “Trent Boult will briefly return home to see his family before reconnecting with the Test team in early June.