Anxiety pierced IPLBiosafety bubble on Monday with leading Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and some Australian players withdrawing from the league amid the escalating COVID-19 crisis in India, even as BCCI insisted the shiny league would continue
Ashwin, 34, who competes for the capital, Delhi, has decided to take a break, saying his family is currently “fighting COVID-19” and wants to support them. He hopes to step aside, “if things go in the right direction.”
However, Andrew Ty (Rajasthan Royals) and the duo of Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa (both Royal Challengers Bangalore) are retiring after the arrest began, after several weeks of running the league in front of empty stands in nine places.
While Zampa and Richardson have not yet spoken about their “personal reasons” for leaving, Ty said he was afraid of being removed from his own country due to the installation of quarantine cases from India in his hometown of Perth.
“I just thought about trying to get on my front leg and go home before I’m locked out of the country … I think I have 11 days at home outside the balloon since August, so for me I just wanted to to get home, “Thaye told SEN Radio in Doha, the transit point before his flight to Perth.
For its part, the BCCI insisted that the event would continue and would not prevent those wishing to leave.
“At the moment, the IPL is moving forward. Obviously, if someone wants to leave, that’s fine,” a senior board official said on condition of anonymity.
While the Zampa leg pump was purchased for 1.5 kroner, RCB spent 4 kroner to buy Richardson’s rhythm at the players’ auction.
Richardson played in one match for RCB, returning numbers from 1 to 29 in three overs against the Rajasthan Royals in Mumbai, but Zampa failed to reach the XI game this season.
Ty, 34, has also not won a game with the Royals so far, and his franchise contract cost a fortune. Over the past few days, India has registered more than 3 varnishes daily, and health infrastructure is struggling with rising oxygen shortages and some important drugs that are contributing to the crisis.
Coach Knights coach David Hussey has admitted that the Australians at IPL are “a little nervous” about returning home after the situation here.
“Everyone is a little nervous about whether they can return to Australia. I dare say there will be a few other Australians who are a little nervous about returning to Australia,” Hussey, a former Australian national, told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricket Association also issued a joint statement Monday saying they were monitoring the situation.
“Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricket Association continue to maintain regular contact with Australian players, coaches and commentators involved in the Indian Premier League, which is conducted under strict biosecurity protocols,” the two bodies said.
“We will continue to listen to the feedback of the people of India and the advice of the Australian Government. At this difficult time, our thoughts are with the people of India.”
Several players from England and New Zealand are also competing in the event, but have not yet spoken about their concerns.
“We continue to monitor and work with the players on an individual basis. Our thoughts are with the people of India during these difficult times,” a spokesman for the English and Welsh Cricket Council told PTI.
New Zealand players, including such stars Kane Williamson and Trent Bult, are expected to leave early anyway as they have a series of tests against England starting on June 2nd. They will have to return in the last week of May to be available due to quarantine rules. The IPL final is scheduled for May 30th in Ahmedabad.
Australia, of course, can arrange a charter flight for its IPL cricket once their engagement is over.
So far, 14 Australian players remain in the event, including stars such as Steve Smith (DC), David Warner (SunRisers Hyderabad) and Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders), as well as coaches Ricky Ponting (DC) and Simon Katic (RCB).
Commentators Matthew Hayden, Brett Lee, Michael Slater and Lisa Stalecar are also among the Australians currently in the league.