On Monday, anxiety breached the IPL’s bio-secure bubble, with leading Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and some Australian players withdrawing from the league amid India’s escalating COVID-19 crisis, despite the BCCI’s assurances that the glitzy tournament will go on. The 34-year-old Ashwin, who plays for the Delhi Capitals, has opted to take a break because his family is “fighting COVID-19” and he wants to help them. “If things head in the right way,” he wants to return to the side.
Andrew Tye (Rajasthan Royals) and the Royal Challengers Bangalore pair of Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa (both Royal Challengers Bangalore) withdrew after fear set in after a couple of weeks of the league being played in front of vacant stands across six venues went off without a hitch.
Although Zampa and Richardson have not revealed their “special motives” for leaving, Tye has said that he was afraid of being shut out of his own country due to the growing number of quarantine cases from India in Perth.
“I just needed to get on the front foot and get home before I got locked out of the country…I think I’ve had 11 days at home out of the bubble since August, so for me I just wanted to get home,” Tye told ‘SEN Radio’ from Doha, where he was transiting before flying to Perth.
The BCCI, for its part, maintained that the event must go ahead and that it would not obstruct those who wanted to leave. “IPL is still in progress. Obviously, anybody who wishes to resign is free to do so “On the condition of anonymity, a senior Board official said.
At the players’ auction, RCB paid Rs 4 crore for pacer Richardson, while leg-spinner Zampa was bought for Rs 1.5 crore.
Richardson made one appearance for RCB this season, taking 1 for 29 in three overs against Rajasthan Royals in Mumbai, but Zampa did not make the playing XI.
Tye, who was 34 at the time, has yet to play for the Royals, despite a one-crore deal.
For the past few days, India has been registering over 3 lakh daily cases, and the health system is struggling to keep up, with a lack of oxygen and some critical drugs exacerbating the problem.
In the wake of the situation here, Kolkata Knight Riders coach David Hussey admitted that Australians in the IPL are “a little worried” about returning home.
“Everyone is concerned about whether or not they will be able to return to Australia. I’m sure there will be a few other Australians who are apprehensive about returning to their homeland “According to the ‘Sydney Morning Herald,’ Hussey, a former Australia international, said.
On Monday, Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association released a joint statement that they are keeping an eye on the situation. “Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association maintain close communication with Australian clubs, coaches, and pundits participating in the Indian Premier League, which is being played under stringent bio-security protocols,” the two organisations said. “We will continue to pay attention to input from those on the ground in India as well as the Australian government’s recommendations. At this tough moment, our thoughts are with the people of India.” Several England and New Zealand players are still playing, but have yet to speak about it.
“We’ll try to keep an eye on the players and deal with them one-to-one. During these trying days, our thoughts are with the people of India “PTI spoke with a spokesman for the England and Wales Cricket Board.
New Zealand’s players, including stars like Kane Williamson and Trent Boult, are supposed to leave early in any event, as they begin a Test series against England on June 2.
Because of quarantine laws, they would have to return in the last week of May to be ready for it. The IPL final will take place in Ahmedabad on May 30.
Australia is said to be considering chartering a flight for its IPL cricketers until their contract expires.
Up to 14 Australian players, including Steve Smith (DC), David Warner (SunRisers Hyderabad), and Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders), as well as coaches Ricky Ponting (DC) and Simon Katich, are still in the competition (RCB).
Australian commentators Matthew Hayden, Brett Lee, Michael Slater, and Lisa Sthalekar are currently affiliated with the league.
The COVID condition in India has been a discussion point in team meetings, according to Rajasthan Royals’ South African bowling all-rounder Chris Morris, who is the most expensive player in the IPL.
At a recent press conference, he said, “It’s very difficult to grasp what’s going on.”