Today, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the country will not prioritize for repatriation of its Indian Premier League (IPL) cricketers from India as the Asian country is fighting against a deadly and more infectious second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.
Already 3 Australian cricketers have curtained their IPL season to go back to home country but some top players including Test stalwarts Steve Smith, David Warner and Pat Cummins remain in India. Also former Test captain Ricky Ponting and many Australians are involved in the IPL as coaches.
On Tuesday, all flights from India were suspended by Australia till at least 15th May to avoid the Covid-19 strains and the PM said that when the flights resumed, the cricketers would not be prioritized for repatriation.
Morrison stated, “It’s done on vulnerability. They travelled there privately under those arrangements, this wasn’t part of an Australian tour. They’re under their own resources and they’ll be using those resources to, I’m sure, see them return to Australia.”
On the other hand, Batsman Chris Lynn, who plays for Mumbai Indians said that he had requested governing body of Cricket Australia (CA) to organize a charter flight to bring the players home from India at the end of the IPL.
He said, “As Cricket Australia makes 10% of every IPL contract was there a chance we could spend that money this year on a charter flight once the tournament is over?”
He also added that he was not asking for shortcuts as the players signed up knowing the risk factors. “But it would be great to get home as soon as the event is over,” he added.
The regular season of IPL ends on 23rd May, with playoffs to follow before the final on 30th May.