India has indefinitely suspended the Indian Premier League due to their unfolding COVID-19 crisis, leaving more than 30 Australian cricketers and coaching staff in limbo.
Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Ricky Ponting, Pat Cummins, Ben Cutting and David Hussey are among the Aussies currently isolating in India and unable to return home due to the Federal Government’s tough new travel ban.
The ban, which will remain in place until at least May 15, threatens potential jail time and hefty fines for anyone who tries to break the rules and fly back to Australia.
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The board’s decision to indefinitely postpone the IPL comes after a number of players and staff in the competition contracted COVID-19 amid the country’s devastating second wave of the virus, with Cricket Australia releasing a statement overnight backing the decision.
“Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association understand the decision of the BCCI to indefinitely postpone the 2021 Indian Premier League for the safety and wellbeing of all participants,” a joint statement from Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association said.
India’s number of Coronavirus cases has now toppled 20 million, with more than 355,000 of those recorded in the past day alone.
Cricket Australia has assured players and their families that they’re doing everything possible to bring them home, however said they will not be seeking any exemptions to the travel ban.
“CA is in direct contact with the BCCI as they work through plans to ensure the safe accommodation and repatriation of Australian players, coaches, match officials and commentators back home to Australia,” the statement said.
“CA and the ACA respect the decision of the Australian Government to pause travel from India until at least May 15 and will not seek exemptions.
“CA and the ACA thank the BCCI for their efforts and cooperation for the safe repatriation of all participants at the IPL.”