In a significant development, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday (May 4) decided to postpone the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) after several players and support staff tested COVID-19 positive.
The BCCI’s decision to postpone the IPL 2021 has left several Australian players including David Warner, Pat Cummins, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell and others in trouble as Australian players and support staff members cannot return to Australia because of the travel ban which was announced by their government.
It may be recalled that the Australian government has recently barred its citizens from entering the country for few days if they happened to be in India within 14 days of their intended arrival. The government said that anyone found breaching the rule will either be awarded a five-year jail term or made yo pay heavy fine.
The restrictions came into effect from May 3 and Australian Health Minister Greg HUnt has said that breaching the ban risks civil penalties and up to five years imprisonment.
Last week, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had announced a ban on passenger flights from India till May 15. PM Morrison had also made it clear that no special privileges will be given to the Australian cricketers playing in India.
For its part, Cricket Australia said it will not seek an exemption on the travel ban and thanked BCCI for taking steps to ensure the safety of all Australian players and support staff.
“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,” a joint statement from Cricket Australia (CA) and ACA read.
Cricket Australia asserted that it is in direct contact with the BCCI to ensure safe accommodation and repatriation of the Australian contingent.
“Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association understand the decision of the BCCI to indefinitely postpone the 2021 Indian Premier League for the safety and wellbeing of all participants,” the statement read.
“CA is in direct contact with the BCCI as they work through plans to ensure the safe accommodation and repatriation of Australian players, coaches, match officials, and commentators back home to Australia,” it added.
“CA and the ACA thank the BCCI for their efforts and cooperation for the safe repatriation of all participants at the IPL.”