A group of Australian players, coaches and support staff is set to leave for Maldives after the postponement of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.
The Australian government has closed its flights for all passengers coming from India and there are approximately 40 Australians taking part in the IPL and they belong to different fields.
Some of the prominent players such as Steve Smith, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Ricky Ponting and Simon Katich are expected to land in the Maldives to join former player-turned-commentator, Michael Slater. The citizens of Australia that are currently in India cannot enter the country before May 15.
All-rounder Dan Christian is not part of the group leaving for the Maldives as he has a deal to play in the United Kingdom (UK) later this year. Also, the UK government is only allowing its citizens or residents to fly in from India.
"Once we flew out of Australia we knew we'd signed up for 14 days quarantine coming home so you feel a bit further from getting home, but when the hard border shut no one has ever experienced that before. It has added a bit of anxiety for the Aussies over here but we signed up to play the tournament until the start of June so hopefully, it all reopens on May 15 and we can get back,” Cummins told The Back Page on Fox Sports.
Cummins seemed satisfied with the arrangements and efforts put in by Cricket Australia and other relevant authorities. He's hoping to get back as soon as possible and is not ready to blame anybody if the players can’t get back to Australia soon.
"Think we are all hoping we can get home as we would normally plan and the borders open on May 15, whether it's [a] private [flight] or not we wouldn't be allowed back in [at the moment]. Cricket Australia has been brilliant along with the ACA, they are working closely with the government to get the latest information, if we can't get home it won't be for lack of trying from all those involved,” he said.
The higher authorities of Cricket Australia and Australian Cricket Association CEO Todd Greenberg are in constant contact with other prominent members of the board and they are trying hard to clear the situation for the players.
They’ve also agreed with the BCCI’s decision to postpone the tournament through a joint statement amid a massive coronavirus outbreak in the country.
"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. 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. 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. CA and the ACA thank the BCCI for their efforts and cooperation for the safe repatriation of all participants at the IPL,” the statement said.