Amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases in India which saw the departure of a few cricketers in the middle of the Indian Premier League 2021, Cricket Australia has no immediate plans to arrange for a charter flight for its players.
CA feels it is too early to decide on the return as the tournament will run till May 30. Last week, the Australian Government announced a ban on all incoming flights from India until May 15.
“There’s no suggestion at the moment of any charter flight,” CA’s interim Chief Executive Officer Nick Hockley told Melbourne radio station SEN.
“We’re working closely and talking closely with the ACA (Australian Cricketers’ Association), with the players and with the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) 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,” he added.
“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 BCCI have come out and said they understand and want to support the players in making sure they get home safely at the end,” said Hockley.
He reiterated that the CA-contracted players participate in the IPL during their annual leave, and it is not an international assignment. Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson made their own arrangements to fly back to Australia before the flight ban.
“They booked commercial flights to return home and that was all off their own bat.”
“The players have made their own decision to go and compete in the IPL on their own time, so technically they are there under their own auspices. But of course, we’re very concerned for their safety, we’re very concerned for their wellbeing and we are concerned to make sure at the end of the tournament that everyone gets home safely,” he said.