Chris Lin, the Mumbai Indian, asked Cricket Australia to arrange a charter flight to take his players home from COVID-ravaged India after IPL has ended and revealed that its franchise will make all team members vaccinated next week. Three Australian players – Andrew Ty, Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa – withdrew from the league amid the escalating health crisis due to the second wave of the pandemic in the country.
On Monday, Cricket Australia inquired about the health and travel plans of IPL players.
“I sent a message that since Cricket Australia makes 10 percent of every IPL contract, was there a chance we would spend that money this year on a charter flight after the tournament was over?” Lynn told News Corp.
The league matches will end on May 23rd, followed by the qualifiers (May 25th, 28th) and the elimination round (May 26th) and the final (May 30th) – all to be held in Ahmedabad.
“I know there are people in a worse position than us. But we are coming out of a really tight bubble and getting vaccinated next week, so we hope that the government will allow us to go home with a private charter.
“We don’t want shortcuts and we signed up knowing the risks. But it would be great to go home as soon as the event is over.”
India will open vaccinations for anyone over the age of 18 from May 1, and the Reliance group, which owns the Mumbai Indians, has already announced that it will facilitate the vaccination of all its staff members and dependent family members.
Up to 14 Australian players still remain in the IPL, inclusive Steve Smith (Delhi Capitals), David Warner (SunRisers Hyderabad) and Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders), as well as coaches Ricky Ponting (DC) and Simon Katic (RCB).
India is witnessing an unprecedented second wave of the pandemic, with more than 3 lakhs a day of new cases reported crippling the country’s healthcare system in recent days.
“Obviously India is in chaos right now. But at least we’re giving people something to smile about when they play the tournament,” Lin said.
The Mumbai Indians will fight the Rajasthan Royals on Thursday at Feroz Shah Kotla.
While some Australian players have returned home, their New Zealand counterparts have no such plans.
“There is no doubt that they are certainly worried about what is happening in India and what they are witnessing,” said Heath Mills, executive director of the New Zealand Cricketers Association.
“But they feel well watched by their IPL franchises and safe in their bubbles.”