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IPL 2021 | Judge Paul Rifel’s departure was suspended due to a travel ban

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Image source: ICC

Paul Reifel

India’s top judge, Nitin Menon, has resigned IPL after his family was hit by several COVID-19 cases while his Australian counterpart Paul Raifel tried to leave a dead end due to the suspension of his country’s air transport to India

Of course, Menor, a resident of Indore, left the IPL bio-bubbles after his wife and mother took a COVID-19 test. Menon is the only Indian on the ICC’s elite committee and was recently praised for his work during India’s home series against England.

“Yes, Nitin left because members of his close family have COVID-19 and he is not currently mentally fit to play games,” a BCCI official told PTI.

In Rifel’s case, the Australian government’s ban on travel to and from India following the growing cases of COVID-19 here made it impossible for him to leave the balloon after initial information suggested he had made the move.

“I tried, but the flight through Doha failed to pass as an Australian,” Rifel told the Herald and The Age on Thursday from his hotel in Ahmedabad.

“They closed the avenue. I know a few of the boys came back this way from there, but the boulevard was closed, so I had to stay. I was booked to go yesterday, but it was canceled,” he said.

Therefore, Rifel will return only after the end of the tournament on May 30.

“I was 10 minutes away from leaving the balloon, so I’m very lucky,” Rifel said.

Menon is the second Indian to retire from the tournament after not spinning Ravichandran Ashwin, who also returned home after all members of his family were positive.

Three Australians Andrew Ty, Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa left home due to the unprecedented health crisis in India.

However, BCCI continues to move forward with the tournament and interim CEO Hemang Amin assured all players and support staff that they remain safe in the bio-balloon.

The BCCI is likely to replace Menon with a judge from its own panel of judges.

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