World IPL: Australian cricketers wear full PPE on flight to Delhi; Aussie PM tells IPL stars to make 'own arrangements' to return home
IPL stars 'lucky' as Covid ravages India, says Woakes
IPL cricket stars are the "lucky" ones as they play the world's richest Twenty20 tournament while a coronavirus emergency ravages India, England all-rounder Chris Woakes told AFP. Four players have tested positive and some, including England's Liam Livingstone, have left the IPL because of the coronavirus, which is infecting more than 300,000 people a day in India. Games are being played in empty stadiums away from the crisis unfolding outside, where overwhelmed hospitals are running critically short of oxygen and beds. The Indian Premier League, spread across six cities, comes before India is due to host the Twenty20 World Cup in October and November.
As the debate intensifies as to whether the lucrativetournament should play on amid a , Australian David Warner was adhering to strict safety protocols as he took an internal flight in the country for a match.
The 34-year-oldon 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.
Police protect empty stadium as IPL arrives in India's virus-hit capital
Chennai Super Kings beat bottom side Sunrisers Hyderabad to go top of the IPL on Wednesday as the big-money tournament staged its first game in India's coronavirus stricken capital. The IPL bubbles will remain tightly sealed around the players for the rest of the tournament which ends on May 30. Inside the empty stadium, Australia's David Warner went past 10,000 Twenty20 runs with his 57 for the Sunrisers.Manish Pandey hit 61 and Kane Williamson and Kedhar Jadhav added 33 in the final 12 balls to boost the Hyderabad total.Chennai were always ahead of the target however.
On Tuesday, India reported 323,144 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases to 17,636,307, including 197,894 deaths, according to a CNN tally of figures from the Indian Ministry of Health.
A number of players have already withdrawn from the IPL citing personal reasons, including three of Warner's Australian teammates -- Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson and Andrew Tye.
The lucrative IPL, which runs until May 30, is a two month festival of cricket, attracting huge contracts for the world's best players.
On Tuesday, Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a suspension to direct flights from India until May 15.
Morrison alsoAustralian cricketers playing in the IPL that they will not be able to return home ahead of other Australians currently stranded in the country.
India Covid deaths: Crematoriums overflow, with bodies of victims burning through the night
Flames crackle over the wails and prayers of grieving families as they mourn loved ones laid on funeral pyres that burn through the night in New Delhi. © Ajay Bedi/CNN The Seemapuri crematorium in eastern New Delhi, on April 29. As India's second wave of coronavirus sweeps through the country, bodies are piling up faster than workers can cremate them or build new pyres."Before the pandemic, we used to cremate eight to 10 people (daily)," said Jitender Singh Shunty, head of the Seemapuri crematorium in eastern New Delhi. "Now, we are cremating 100 to 120 a day.
"They have travelled there privately," he said. "This wasn't part of an Australian tour.
"They're under their own resources and they'll be using those resources too, I'm sure, to see them return to Australia in accordance with their own arrangements."
Cricket Australia did not respond to CNN's request for comment asking if the organization had any concerns for their players' safety or whether any contingency plans have been put in place to help them.
Australia international Chris Lynn says he's requested that Cricket Australia charter a plane for Australian players to help them come home once the IPL finishes.
"I texted back that as Cricket Australia make 10 per cent of every IPL contract, was there a chance we could spend that money this year on a charter flight once the tournament is over?" Lynn, who says he's "comfortable" in the bubble environment,Reuters.
India has Covid-19 hospitals so overburdened that inpatients want to get out
This Indian woman spent hours searching for a hospital that would take her husband. Now he's in a Covid facility, it's so bad that she's desperate to get him out.Four hospitals turned away Patel, who is seven months pregnant with the couple's first child, before she finally found one that would take him. But the level of care at Sardar Patel Covid Care Centre and Hospital, a makeshift pandemic facility on the outskirts of the capital, is so lacking that her husband is begging to leave.
"I know there are people worse off than us. But we are going from a really tight bubble and are getting vaccinated next week so hopefully the government will let us get home on a private charter.
"We are not asking for shortcuts and we signed up knowing the risks. But it would be great to get home as soon as the event is over."
The IPL's regular season is set to end on May 23 with qualifiers and eliminators to follow before the final on May 30.
According to Forbes, the IPL is the sixth most valuable sports league in the world, behind the NFL, the Champions League and European football's four biggest domestic leagues.
"Obviously India is in chaos at the moment but we are at least giving people something to smile about by playing the tournament," Mumbai Indians batsman Lynn added.
Earlier this week, Australian Pat Cummins, who was the most expensive foreign buy in IPL's 2020 auction,on the debate about whether it's right to continue.
"I'm advised that the Indian government is of the view that playing the IPL while the population is in lockdown provides a few hours of joy and respite each day at an otherwise difficult time for the country," Cummins wrote in a statement on Twitter.
IPL suspended after more Covid-19 cases
The Indian Premier League is suspended after an increase in coronavirus cases among players. A Sunrisers Hyderabad player tested positive before Tuesday's match against Mumbai Indians.Monday's match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore was postponed after two KKR players tested positive.In a statement, the IPL said it had "unanimously decided" to postpone the season after an emergency meeting."The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL," it said.
Cummins also called on IPL players to help fund medical supplies, notably oxygen supplies, to those who need it most.
"I encourage my fellow IPL players -- and anyone else around the world who has been touched by India's passion and generosity - to contribute. I will kick it off with $50,000," Cummins wrote on Twitter.
Neither India's Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) nor the IPL were available for comment when contacted by CNN.
'Who to be saved, who not to be': Inside a hospital during India's COVID-19 crisis .
Amid India's devastating COVID-19 surge, one doctor works 27-hour shifts but knows he can't save everyone.As India's health care system teeters on the verge of collapse during a brutal second wave of the novel coronavirus, Aggarwal makes those decisions during a 27-hour workday that includes a grim overnight shift in charge of the emergency room at his New Delhi hospital.