NZ team to depart this week, Aussies to wait for government green light after IPL delay

NZ team to depart this week, Aussies to wait for government green light after IPL delay

Following the outbreak of COVID-19 among players and staff, the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) has been postponed indefinitely, leaving several top international cricketers stranded in the virus-hit India. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), however, pledged that they “will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021.”

“We have been working on their travel plans in consultation with their respective boards so that each of them reach home safely,” the BCCI official told a news agency. “Some of them will return home tomorrow (Wednesday).” It is learnt that some countries have imposed travel ban to for those traveling to and from India. Follow us for more IPL 2021 highlights and updates.

Last week, the Australian government had shut its borders and ban travellers from India, including Australian citizens, from entering the country until May 15. It also threatened returning citizens a 5-year jail term if they entered Australia after having been in India within their last 14 days of their arrival. As many as 14 players are still in the bio-bubbles.

“CA and the ACA respect the decision of the Australian Government to pause travel from India until at least May 15 and will not seek exemptions,” the Australian cricket board said. The Australian board said it was “in direct contact” with the BCCI “to ensure the safe accommodation and repatriation of Australian players, coaches, match officials and commentators back home to Australia”.

Meanwhile, most New Zealand players, coaches and support staff are expected to fly back home on a charter flight. “Everything is being worked through and it is hard to confirm any travel details at this stage. There is a group coming back to New Zealand and hopefully they are going to get on flights or a charter plane in the next 24 hours,” players Association chief executive Heath Mills said.

“We’ve worked closely with the BCCI and the IPL franchises on the various departure strategies and we’re very appreciative of their support during what is, clearly, a very challenging time,” NZC chief executive David White said. “Were also very grateful to the England and Wales Cricket Board for accommodating the early arrival of the four members of The test squad currently in India.”

In the UK, India is added to its travel “red-list” last month, which means the English contingent will have to quarantine for 10 days in a hotel. The England and Wales Board (ECB) said it was in touch with the English contingent “as arrangements are put in place for them to return home safely. The South African cricket board said it was making arrangements to bring back its players and staff from India.

IPL Governing Council chairman Brijesh Patel earlier said the BCCI would help the franchises arrange for the return of their foreign players, while those who have contracted the virus, and other players and staff, have to follow the tournament’s quarantine protocols. “Franchises will take a call on their departures, while the BCCI will provide the necessary support,” Patel said.

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