Eight England cricketers were assisted by the BCCI and reached London on Wednesday after Indian Premier League 2021 was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Sam Billings, Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali and Jason Roy landed in London to begin a 10-day quarantine before heading to their respective homes.
England skipper Eoin Morgan, Dawid Malan and Chris Jordan are expected to board a flight to London within the next 48 hours.
“I can confirm that eight of the 11 England players in India managed to get on a flight to Heathrow airport last night and have landed this morning,” an England and Wales Cricket Board spokesperson told PTI.
“They will now quarantine in government approved hotels. The remaining three – Jordan, Malan, Morgan – should leave India within the next 48 hours,” he added.
The Australians, on the other hand, were still waiting to know when they can fly out to Maldives, where they will stay for a few days before flying home. The detour has been forced by the Australian government’s travel ban on India till May 15 because of the explosion of Covid-19 cases in India.
Their Prime Minister Scott Morrison has refused to consider an exemption and Cricket Australia has also ruled out seeking one from the government.
“All Australians are assembling in Delhi and from there they will head to Maldives by a charter flight,” a franchise official told PTI.
CA’s interim chief Nick Hockley said the BCCI is helping in every possible way to ensure a smooth return for the 14 players, members of the coaching staff and commentators, who are in India right now.
“What the BCCI is working to do is to move the entire cohort out of India where they will wait until it’s possible to return to Australia,” Hockley told reporters in Sydney.
“The BCCI has been working on a range of options. That’s now narrowed down to the Maldives and Sri Lanka. The BCCI is committed not only to the first move but also to putting on a charter to bring them back to Australia,” he added.
IPL also featured cricketers from South Africa (11), New Zealand (10) West Indians (9), Afghanistan (3) and Bangladesh (2).
The star-studded league was suspended indefinitely on Tuesday after four players reportedly tested positive for Covid-19 in the bio-bubble.
Also infected were Chennai Super Kings bowling coach L Balaji and batting coach Mike Hussey.
Hussey will stay in India to serve out his quarantine while others head back in the next few days.
The 52-day 60-match tournament would have concluded in Ahmedabad on May 30. However, only 24 days of cricket was possible with 29 completed games before the virus halted proceedings.
India is currently recording over three lakh cases everyday and more than 3,000 daily deaths.
The unprecedented number of cases has severely burdened the country’s health-care facilities causing an acute shortage of oxygen, hospital beds and crucial medicines.
“It’s two different worlds. We’re lucky, we’re safe, we’re comfortable and there’s people just trying to get basic medical treatment,” premier Australia pacer Pat Cummins said of the chaos outside the IPL bubble.
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