New Delhi, April 29
Highly-respected cricket umpire Nitin Menon has pulled out of the IPL due to “personal reasons”, while his Australian counterpart Paul Reiffel’s attempts at leaving were stalled because of his country’s suspension of air travel with India.
It is learnt that Menon, a resident of Indore, has left the IPL bio-bubble after his wife and mother tested positive for Covid-19. “Yes, Nitin has left as his immediate family members have Covid-19 and he is currently not in a mental state to conduct games,” a BCCI official said.
An official said that Menon’s father — himself a former Ranji Trophy cricketer and international umpire — is also unwell and is also suspected to have Covid-19.
In Reiffel’s case, the Australian government’s imposition of a travel ban on flights to and from India due to the rising Covid-19 cases here led to him being unable to leave the bubble after initial information suggested that he has made the move. He will now go back only after the end of the tournament on May 30.
“I tried to, but the flight through Doha, I wasn’t able to go through as an Australian,” Reiffel told an Australian newspaper from Ahmedabad. “I know a couple of the guys got back that way through there, but the avenue was closed so I had to stay. Yesterday, I was booked to go, but it got cancelled. I was 10 minutes away from leaving the bubble, so I’m very lucky.” — TNS, agencies