Cricket authorities in Australia, New Zealand and England have stepped up efforts to evacuate their players from the COVID-hit India after the Indian Premier League (IPL) was postponed following a horrific rise in Coronavirus cases.
According to the reports, Cricket Australia said on Wednesday that in the next two to three days, work is underway to move 38 players and staff, including Steve Smith, David Warner and Pat Cummins, to the Maldives or Sri Lanka.
Eight of the 11 England players who played in the IPL have returned to London, while the New Zealand Cricket Board says it is preparing to send its Test cricketers to the UK where their series is scheduled and the World Test next month. There is also a competition with India in the final of the championship.
Note that, the Indian Premier League, the world’s richest cricket tournament, was postponed after several cases of corona virus were reported in a six-city bio-score bubble tournament.
The situation has left Australian players helpless as they are barred from returning home until at least May 15, while Canberra has also closed its borders and threatened to jail those coming from India.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has indefinitely suspended the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 due to rising Coronavirus cases among the players as well.
The decision to suspend IPL 2021 was confirmed by chairman Brijesh Patel. He said this move came to ensure the safety of all stakeholders as the number of cases in the tournament bubble continues to rise.
“The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting has decided to postpone IPL 2021 season, with immediate effect,” BCCI said in a release.
“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.”
The BCCI release added, “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,” it added more.