Cricket Australia currently has no plans to arrange a charter flight to bring its players back home from COVID-19-ravaged India once the IPL gets over, its chief Nick Hockley said on Monday.
Hockley insisted that Australian players are feeling safe and secure in the IPL bio-bubble but his comments came before it emerged that two KKR players have tested positive for the dreaded virus, leading to the postponement of the franchise’s game against RCB on Monday.
Australian pacer Pat Cummins’ Kolkata Knight Riders teammates — Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier — have returned positive tests.
Mumbai Indians batsman Chris Lynn had recently requested Cricket Australia to arrange for a charter flight for Australia players after the tournament concludes on May 30.
“There’s no suggestion at the moment of any charter flight,” Hockley told Melbourne radio station SEN.
“We’re working closely and talking closely with the Australian Cricketers’ Association, with the players and with the BCCI to make sure everyone’s okay and the people have got full information.
“We’ve been in touch with the players there and they are generally in good spirits. The work the BCCI has done around the (bio-secure) bubble means they are feeling safe and secure, and those we’ve talked to are generally planning to complete their playing commitments.” The Cricket Australia boss said they are monitoring the situation and a decision will be made but not immediately.
“The BCCI have come out and said they understand and want to support the players in making sure they get home safely at the end.
“The tournament doesn’t finish until the 30th of May, so for the moment let’s monitor the situation and as we get closer to the end of the tournament we’ll need to see where the situation is at,” he said.
The Australian government recently banned its citizens from travelling back from India, which is battling a severe second wave of the pandemic that is causing thousands of daily deaths.
Australia’s Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye and Kane Richardson were also part of the IPL but they flew out of India before the ban was announced.
Australia still have lot of current and former players in the League, performing different roles.
The likes of David Warner, Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith are competing as players while former captain Ricky Ponting is among the coaches on duty.
Maxwell had recently said that Australian players would not mind travelling to UK along with the Indian and New Zealand players, who are set to compete in the World Test Championship final in Southampton from June 18.