Amid hugs, tears of joy and relief, some of Australia’s Indian Premier League contingent comprising players, support staff and commentators on Monday reunited with their family members after serving a 14-day hotel quarantine in Sydney, reported PTI.
The 38-member Australian group landed in the country two weeks ago after a stopover in Maldives due to travel ban from COVID-hit India.
Fast bowler Pat Cummins was reunited with his partner, while Steve Smith, big-hitting all-rounder Glenn Maxwell and the swashbuckling opener Dave Warner were among those who embraced their loved ones after nearly eight weeks away from home. They were among the players, coaches and officials who completed the mandatory quarantine period after returning on a charter flight from the Maldives.
“It’s great to be home,” said Warner on his Instagram post.
The league will now move to the UAE in the middle of September for completion and it is not yet clear if the Aussie players will return for that leg.
Cricket Australia’s newly-appointed chief executive officer Nick Hockley said the feeling among the players about going home to be with their families could not be understated.
“We’ve been texting, and I’ve spoken to a couple of the broader group, not just the players but there’s commentators, match officials and physios,” Hockley said.
“They are clearly quite shaken from the experience, very appreciative to be home back here in Australia.”
The BCCI paid for the charter flights and accommodation of the Australians in the Maldives and Sydney, and Hockley thanked the Indian board for the manner in which it helped them after the abrupt suspension of the IPL owing to the Covid19 pandemic, the PTI report added.
“I would reiterate that the BCCI have been absolutely fantastic in supporting the playing group, and the entire group in terms of getting home safely and we’re very grateful for that,” Hockley said.
“It’s a couple of weeks before the West Indies touring party regroups at the National Cricket Centre and I think that’s a time to re-focus.
“But I know for now they’re looking forward to spending some time over the next couple of weeks with family and friends.”
Fast bowler Jason Behrendorff, who was drafted in by Chennai Super Kings as a replacement, told public broadcaster ABC it was “nice to have some fresh air” after leaving quarantine.
“It was nice to know that we were getting home that’s for sure,” Behrendorff said.
“It’s always tough being stuck somewhere and knowing that we’re able to get home was a relief and now we’re out of quarantine I can’t wait to get home and see my family,” he added.
(With PTI and AFP inputs)
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