Sydney: Several Australian cricketers are looking to leave the Indian Premier League (IPL) due to fears that they will be locked of their country following rising Covid-19 cases in India.
Australia pace bowler Andrew Tye left his franchise Rajasthan Royals (RR) for ‘personal reasons’, it came to light on Sunday, after fellow RR player England’s Liam Livingstone had left a few days back citing ‘bubble fatigue’.
The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) on Monday reported that many Australian players are ‘nervous about securing safe passage back home after the [Scott] Morrison government (Australian government) reduced the number of incoming passengers allowed from India’.
India is enduring a tough phase in the pandemic, with around 3.5 lakh daily Covid-19 cases and inadequate medical facilities. Sunday saw 3.54 lakh new cases with over 2800 deaths.
“Several sources close to the situation said on Sunday that multiple Australian players in India were seeking to leave the tournament early amid India’s skyrocketing coronavirus cases and recent travel restrictions imposed on people returning to Australia from India,” said the report in SMH.
The report quoted Kolkata Knight Riders mentor David Hussey, a former Aussie batsman, as saying, “Everyone’s sort of a bit nervous about whether they can get back into Australia. I dare say there’ll be a few other Australians (besides Tye) a bit nervous about getting back into Australia.
“Everyone’s pretty nervous about what’s going on over here, but they’re also pragmatic,” Hussey added.
“A couple of [Indian] players, their fathers have passed away. One person in particular, he’s one of the staff members with us and his father passed away last year from Covid, and he was really pragmatic by saying it was his time to go,” he said.
The 45-year-old Hussey, however, praised the bio-bubble in the IPL saying it is quite like what they experienced in Australia during the summer.
“We’re stuck in bubbles. It’s probably not too dissimilar to what all Victorians experienced last year in lockdown really,” Hussey told SMH.
“You get tested every second day. So it’s quite full-on but I think every precaution’s been taken for everyone’s safety,” added Hussey
“It is on the radar. It’s on the news every minute of the day. You see people in hospital beds. It puts a lot of things in perspective.”
Steve Smith (Delhi Capitals), David Warner (SunRisers Hyderabad), Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders), Glenn Maxwell (Royal Challengers Bangalore) are among the 17 Aussies taking part in the IPL. Tye’s departure has left 16 Aussies in the league.
Josh Hazlewood (Chennai Super Kings), Mitch Marsh (Sunrisers Hyderabad) and Josh Philippe (Royal Challengers Bangalore) had already withdrawn from IPL prior to the start of the tournament.