IPL 2021 suspended – Australian Cricketers in IPL: The suspension of IPL 2021 following multiple COVID-19 cases inside IPL’s bio-secure bubble put Australians in the tournament in a precarious situation. They fear for their safety but aren’t allowed to go home with Australia’s Scott Morrison government imposing a strict travel ban until May 15 for all including its citizens. The order said if anyone found to be averting the restriction, the individual could face hefty fines and face up to 5 years in jail. That forced many Australians including commentator Michael Slater, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting amongst others to take refuge in the Maldives. But as per Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, players or any stranded Aussies, “nobody is going to be jailed.”
“Nobody’s going to be jailed. We made that decision based on medical advice. We didn’t want plane loads of people coming back and swamping our quarantine system,” Michael McCormack told ABC TV on Wednesday.
IPL 2021 suspended: As of Tuesday, many Australian players, coaching staff and commentators were heading to the Maldives as they had all doors shut to return to Australia as the country banned all incoming passengers from India. However, the Australian government’s hardline approach was criticized by the Aussie players with Michael Slater saying, “PM, blood is in your hands” for not taking care of the stranded citizens in the dire time. The pressure was mounting on the government to arrange a return of their citizens like other countries including New Zealand have.
Labour leader Anthony Albanese said that the government ruled out enforcing the bio-security law and moved away from hefty penalties. “This is a shambles. The government should be getting the vaccinations right and it should be getting quarantine right,” he said.
IPL 2021 suspended: Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said that the government wanted to strengthen the quarantine measure before lifting travel restrictions, adding that the government was looking to vaccinate Australians stranded in India. “Everything is being done to ready Australians to come home,” she told ABC radio.
The Aussie government is building a 500-bed quarantine facility for a cost of $200 million in Victoria. “A lot of effort has gone into it and we will look at it seriously,” Scott Morrison said.
“The pause will enable us to get Australian citizens and residents and their immediate families back on repatriation flights. Without it, we would be eroding our capability to do that over the medium to longer term, so this was a necessary step to ensure that we could help more Australian citizens and residents get home, safely, in a way that did not risk a third wave in Australia. That is what we want to achieve,” Scott Morrison added.
IPL 2021 suspended: Before the travel restrictions came into effect, three Australian players in the IPL — Andrew Tye (Rajasthan Royals), Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa (Royal Challengers Bangalore) — returned to Australia. They moved through Dubai to reach Australia, where they are serving a 14-day quarantine period. Currently, there are nearly 40 Australians in IPL bio-bubbles including players, coaching staff and commentators.
Pat Cummins, Aussie quick, who is also stranded at the team hotel in Ahmedabad, said that the hard border closure added to everyone’s anxiety.
“As soon as the hard border shut, obviously no one has experienced that before. It added a bit of anxiety for a few of the Aussies over here. But we signed up to play the tournament until the start of June. Hopefully, it all reopens on May 15 and we’ll be able to get back,” Pat Cummins told Fox Sports’ The Back Page before BCCI suspended the IPL 2021.
“Think we are all hoping we can get home as we would normally plan and the borders open on May 15, whether it’s a private flight or not we wouldn’t be allowed back at the moment. Cricket Australia have been brilliant along with the ACA, they are working closely with the government to get the latest information, if we can’t get home it won’t be for lack of trying from all those involved,” Pat Cummins added.