Sport Postponement of IPL leaves Australian players stranded in India
Warner's dramatic PPE flight amid IPL chaos
Australian international David Warner was adhering to strict safety protocols as he took a flight before an IPL match.The 34-year-old posted on social media a photo of himself and his teammate Kane Williamson head-to-toe in full personal protective equipment, including a mask, visor and a full protective body suit, as they flew to Delhi for the Sunrisers Hyderabad's next match.
Australia's players are stranded in India after this year's Indian Premier League was postponed following another positive coronavirus test.
Indian cricket authorities made the sensational decision after an emergency meeting called to deal with the growing crisis within the tournament's supposed biosecure bubble.
Players were told the tournament had been cancelled. It was unclear last night whether attempts would be made to conclude the competition at a later date, but there was speculation it could be completed in the UAE later in the year.
English contingent aiming to secure flights home with IPL postponed due to Covid
Positive cases in three of the eight franchises effectively proved that the players’ bio-secure bubbles were no longer able to stave off the threat. UPDATE: The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting has unanimously decided to postpone IPL 2021 season with immediate effect. Details – https://t.co/OgYXPj9FQy pic.twitter.
A day after, a teammate of David Warner - India wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha - returned a positive test.
The Sunrisers, the team coached by Australian Trevor Bayliss and where Tom Moody is the director of cricket, are the third franchise to have a staff member or player test positive. Players have been sent into a four-day lockdown.
The announcement by the BCCI and the league came after pressure from at least one franchise for the tournament to be halted.
"I'm hearing postponement, cancellation, maybe moving to Mumbai, I'll wait for a release," Cummins said on Fox's The Back Page show on Tuesday night. "It seems to be changing every couple of minutes now."
On Tuesday night, Australian players were unsure how they would return home after the federal government last week paused travel from India to Australia until May 15.
Finish IPL in England this September, says Kevin Pietersen
Cricket's most lucrative tournament was indefinitely brought to a halt earlier this week due to India's raging coronavirus pandemic crisis, which had infiltrated the supposedly bio-secure environment created for the IPL. With no clear plan as to when and how the tournament could continue, Pietersen insisted the UK in September would be perfect, especially because India will have just completed a Test series against England.
Players on the ground in India had said before the announcement that they would explore travelling to Dubai as an emergency exit strategy.
The Indian board, IPL and franchises have reassured non-Indian cricketers they will do everything they can to ensure players return home safely.
"I just got a call from IPL that the tournament stands cancelled due to additional COVID cases that have come to light," an Australian player was told in a note by his franchise.
"It's sad but the right call under the circumstances. I will get back to everyone on the logistics involved in getting everyone back to your homes and your families as soon as possible. Please don't stress about anything, we will speak soon."
Saha joins two players from Cummins' team, Kolkata Knight Riders, and members from the Chennai Super Kings to have returned positive results.
"The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting has unanimously decided to postpone IPL 2021 season, with immediate effect," the IPL said in a statement.
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"The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL. This decision was taken keeping the safety, health and well-being of all the stakeholders in mind.
"These are difficult times, especially in India, and while we have tried to bring in some positivity and cheer, however, it is imperative that the tournament is now suspended and everyone goes back to their families and loved ones in these trying times.
"The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021.
"The BCCI would like to thank all the healthcare workers, state associations, players, support staff, franchises, sponsors, partners and all the service providers who have tried their best to organise IPL 2021 even in these extremely difficult times."
A CA spokesman said: "Cricket Australia and the ACA were meeting last night to discuss options for the Australian players mindful that there is a travel pause until May 15."
ACA chief Todd Greenberg said before the cancellation of the tournament that players had gone to India "with their eyes wide open".
"They do want to see the tournament finished, but they also clearly want to come home at the end, and that's where the concern comes, because there's just not a definitive plan on how that's going to happen at the moment," Greenberg said on Radio 2GB.
India seek to squeeze IPL into calendar .
The race to rejig this year's international cricket schedule is underway as India's board seeks to find a slot to complete its Twenty20 extravaganza.A week ago, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) suspended this year's Indian Premier League (IPL) because of COVID-19 cases among players and support staff.