The Australian contingent, which was stuck in Maldives after IPL 2021 was suspended indefinitely due to COVID-19, has landed in Sydney. The contingent, which includes players, officials and commentators, could not fly back to Australia earlier because of a government ban on travelers from India.
According to a report on abc.net.au, Steve Smith, David Warner, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell and Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting were among those who landed at the Sydney Airport on Monday morning from the Maldives, where they were staying since May 6.
It was earlier reported that Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) batting coach Michael Hussey will fly back to Australia on a commercial flight via Doha. Hussey was unable to join the Australian contingent in Maldives after IPL 2021 was suspended indefinitely, as he had tested positive for COVID-19. He had a negative test on Thursday, clearing the path for his return to Australia.
The Australian contingent that landed in Sydney will now undergo a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine. While there has been some criticism over Australian players’ return with many normal citizens from the country being struck in India, Cricket Australia’s interim chief executive Nick Holey stated that Cricket Australia had not sought any special treatment for the players.
Earlier, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison too had assured that the players and officials were not given any special treatment. He was quoted as telling the media:
“They are happy for them to come in over the cap. That is something we insisted upon and they were to agree with that. They will come back under their own steam, upon their own ticket, and they won’t be taking the spot in quarantine of any other Australian who is returning home under the NSW caps.”
Three Australian players, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa, and Andrew Tye, quit IPL 2021 before the Australian government’s travel ban came into force.
ACA wants Australian players to be careful about signing T20 leagues
In the wake of the IPL 2021 situation, which left Australian players stranded in Maldives, Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) chief executive Todd Greenberg had advised players to think hard before signing T20 leagues in the near future.
Pointing out the COVID situation, Greenberg was quoted as saying in media reports in this regard:
“The last 12 months around the globe, we’ve seen all professional athletes travel differently, and charter flights maybe two years ago would have seen a different type of commentary than what we would see today. The reality is we’re going to try to keep them as safe as possible, and if that’s available, I don’t think we should shy away from that. I’m not sure it will create reticence, but it will ensure players do their due diligence before they sign (future) agreements.”
IPL 2021 was suspended indefinitely after a number of COVID-19 cases emerged in the tournament bio-bubble.