International gamers scramble for exit

Today News Online Service

New Delhi, May 4

The suspension of the IPL has left the foreign players in a quandary as they try to explore options to leave India, which has been recording over 300,000 fresh cases daily for nearly two weeks.

The BCCI had assured all players, and especially the foreign contingent, that it would “do everything to ensure that you reach your respective destinations seamlessly” after the end of the tournament.

However, as several countries including England and Australia have banned travel from India, it’s not going to be a straightforward process.

Reacting to the suspension of the IPL, Cricket Australia (CA) said it must adhere to the Australian government’s decision to ban travel from India until at least May 15.

No exemption for Aussies

“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 said.

CA it was “in direct contact” with the BCCI “to ensure the safe accommodation and repatriation of Australian players, coaches, match officials and commentators back home to Australia”.

Former Test player and IPL commentator Michael Slater, stranded in Maldives after leaving India, had criticised the ban on arrivals from India, saying prime minister Scott Morrison has “blood” on his hands. Morrison dismissed this allegation. “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,” Morrison said.

10-day hotel quarantine

Britain added India on its travel “red-list” last month, which means the English players will have to quarantine for 10 days in a hotel after returning from India.

The England and Wales Board (ECB) said it was in touch with their players “as arrangements are put in place for them to return home safely”. “The ECB… thanks the BCCI for its commitment to do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all those taking part in the competition,” an ECB spokesperson said.

Cricket South Africa said it was making arrangements to bring back their players and support staff. “Those travelling back to South Africa will undergo home quarantine in line with the current World Health Organisation recommendations,” CSA said in a statement.

The IPL had 14 Australians players left, apart from 10 from New Zealand and 11 Englishmen. South Africa had 11 players in the league, the West Indies had nine, Afghanistan three and Bangladesh had two.

Aussies set for Maldives exodus

New Delhi: After Australian cricketer-turned-commentator Michael Slater landed in the Maldives after leaving the IPL, the island is expected to face an exodus of Australians who were part of the tournament. There are around 40 Australians in the IPL bubble, including players, coaching staff and commentators. Top players Pat Cummins, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell and coaches Ricky Ponting and Simon Katich are expected to join Slater, reported a cricket website. Slater is in the Maldives after Australia banned all individuals — including Australian citizens — who have recently been in India from coming into the country. TNS

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