Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa on Tuesday said he decided leave Indian Premier League midway through the ongoing 2021 season as he felt the bio-bubble was vulnerable unlike the tournament that was held in UAE last year.
The spinner joins Andrew Tye, part of Rajasthan Royals, in expressing reservations about the nature of the tournament that has come under the scanner for being held in India at a time when the Covid-19 situation has wreaked havoc around the country.
Zampa and Kane Richardson, who were part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad, are set to fly back home on Tuesday night, having pulled out of the league.
Speaking to The Age and the Herald, Zampa said the Covid-19 situation is pretty dire and cited bubble fatigue as well as a lack of motivation he felt during training. He also said he felt a lot safer in the UAE where the IPL was held last year.
“We’ve been in a few (bubbles) now, and I feel like this is probably the most vulnerable. I just feel like because it’s India, we’re always being told about the hygiene over here and being extra careful... I just felt like it was the most vulnerable.
“The IPL that was held in [UAE] six months ago didn’t feel that way at all. I felt like that was extremely safe. Personally, I feel like that would have been a better option originally for this IPL, but obviously, there’s a lot of political stuff that goes into it.
“Obviously there’s the T20 World Cup that’s meant to be happening here later this year. That’s probably going to be the next discussion in the cricket world. Six months is a long time,” he added.
Zampa, who had not featured in any game this season, had joined the squad late after recently getting married in Australia.
There are contrasting views on whether the IPL should continue amid the raging second COVID wave in India. On that subject, Zampa said: “There’s a lot of people coming out and saying games of cricket could be a reprieve for some people but that’s also going to be a personal answer.
“Someone who has a family member on their death bed probably doesn’t care about the cricket.”
Zampa has no regrets about the financial loss he suffered by withdrawing from the lucrative league.
“I feel like for leaving anyone leaving halfway through a tournament, it’s definitely a financial sacrifice. But from my point of view I wanted to put my mental health first.”
He also lauded fellow Australian Pat Cummins, who has donated $50,000 to help purchase oxygen supplies for India’s severely strained hospitals.
On Monday, Tye had said he decided to leave on Sunday after getting to know about the mounting quarantine cases from India in his hometown Perth. The 34-year-old had said he wanted to take a quick call before restrictions were imposed, which turned out to be the case on Tuesday with Australia suspending flights from India.
“There was a number of reasons, but the main one was with the situation that has started to happen back home in Perth with a lot of cases in hotel quarantine coming out of India,” Tye was quoted as telling SEN WA Breakfast with Gilly and Goss from Doha on Monday.
“From a player safety point of view, we’re safe now but is it going to stay safe?,” Tye, who has played seven ODIs and 28 T20s for Australia, asked, as per the report on cricket.com.au, while talking about whether the tournament should go ahead and that there are multiple perspectives to consider.
“But looking at it from an Indian point of view, how are these companies and franchises spending so much money, and the government, on the IPL when there’s people not being able to get accepted into hospital?
“If sport can continue and be one of those avenues to relieve stress or give a glimmer of hope that the world is OK and there is light at the end of the tunnel, I think it should go ahead. But I know that’s not everyone’s feelings and I completely respect everyone’s views from all angles,” he added.
Tye is the second player from the Royals squad to leave home citing bubble fatigue and Covid-19 concerns after Englishman Liam Livingstone.
India on Tuesday registered 3,23,144 new coronavirus cases in a day, taking the total number of infections since the pandemic broke out in January 2020, to 1,76,36,307. While the single-day infection count is slightly less than Monday’s count, India registered more than 3 lakh cases for the sixth day in a row. With 2,771 deaths, the toll went up to 1,97,894.
With PTI inputs
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