New Delhi: Foreign cricketers, including Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, playing in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) are getting increasingly desperate to get out of India due to a worsening COVID-19 wave. In their bid to leave India, they wouldn’t mind taking a detour to reach their homes.
Maxwell showed this desperation to leave India as quickly as possible after the IPL, when he said that he wouldn’t mind taking the same charter flight that would take the India and New Zealand players to England for the World Test Championship (WTC) final, scheduled in June, on the way to Australia.
“We just want to find a way to go home. The BCCI [Board of Control for Cricket in India], both governments [India and Australia] can work a solution. If we have to wait a bit longer, so be it but there is a way to get home at some stage,” Maxwell told the ‘The Final Word Podcast’.
Maxwell didn’t hide his emotions.
“India and England are going to play in England. Worst comes to worst, we have to wait in England and try and find a way out in that chartered [flight] and get out of India. I am sure a lot of guys will try and put their hand up in trying to do that as well,” he said, hinting that he was willing to bide his time in England rather than in India.
“Once IPL finishes and potentially the bubble will be broken, you don’t want to be stuck here, just try and look for the safest way to move on,” he told the podcast, conducted by Geoff Lemon and Adam Collins.
The IPL will conclude on May 30, following which the India and New Zealand players will immediately fly to England for the WTC final in Southampton starting on June 18. The England cricketers competing in the IPL will also board the same flight to reach home.
“It’s something I floated to Vinnie [fiancee], if things go extremely south, a whole lot worse, what are we actually supposed to do if there is no help? I am sure there will be help from BCCI to accommodate the overseas players at the moment,” Maxwell said.
“We are just hoping, come May 15, hopefully things improve and there’s a lot of work to do, here in India. You see countless people stuck in hospitals needing that extra support, long way to go before it gets better.”
Australian cricketers in the IPL are looking to take connecting flights to their country from England, if they are accommodated in the charter flight from India.
Australia and several other countries have stopped all flights from India because of the huge surge in COVID-19 cases in the country. A record 3.79 lakh cases were recorded on Thursday, and there is uncertainty on flights resuming in the foreseeable future.
The BCCI has hinted that the idea to accommodate Aussie cricketers on the charter flight was on the table as options are being explored to help overseas players go home.
A total of 14 Australian cricketers are left in India after a few of them, including Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson, took the last available fight out to Australia a couple of days ago for risk of getting stuck.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has rejected the Aussie players’ demand for a charter flight, saying they won’t get “preferential treatment” as they had gone on their own, and not as part of an Australian team.