Cricket Australia (CA) CEO Nick Hockley has on Monday (May 3) asserted that there are no plans of arranging chartered flights for Australian players featuring in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) at the moment to bring back its players once the IPL 2021 is over.
Three Australian players Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye, and Kane Richardson – who were also part of the ongoing IPL 2021, already flew out of India before the Australian government has banned Indian flights till May 15 due to the surging COVID-19 crisis in India.
Following their departure, Chris Lynn suggested that the CA should send chartered flights for Australian players as they earn 10% of their IPL earnings.
Well, the matter has yet again gathered momentum after two players Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) players reported COVID-19 positive which saw the IPL 14 game between KKR and Royal Challengers Bangalore being postponed. There are also reports of some COVID-19 cases in the Chennai Super Kings camp.
However, Hockley denied any plans for arranging any charter flight for Australian cricketers at the moment but insisted that the players are feeling safe and secure in the IPL bio-bubble, though his comments came before the report of the COVID-19 outbreak at the KKR camp and there are still a lot of current and former players performing different roles in the T20 league.
Hockley told Melbourne radio station SEN: “There’s no suggestion at the moment of any charter flight. We’re working closely and talking closely with the Australian Cricketers’ Association, with the players, and with the BCCI to make sure everyone’s okay and the people have got full information.”
He further added, “We’ve been in touch with the players there and they are generally in good spirits. 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 CA CEO also said the Australian board is monitoring the situation in India and a decision will be made regarding bringing back its players from IPL 2021, but not immediately.
He signed off by saying, “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. The tournament doesn't finish until the 30th of May, so for the moment it's monitor the situation and as we get closer to the end of the tournament we'll need to see where the situation is at.”
(With PTI Inputs)