IPL’s foreign recruits head home

Thursday, 06 May 2021 | PTI | New Delhi

8 Englishman back in London; Aussies await Maldives flight first 

The Englishmen were the first ones out with eight of them landing in London, while the Australians awaited an escape to Maldives as the now-suspended IPL’s foreign recruits charted their way back home assisted by the BCCI on Wednesday.

Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Sam Billings, Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali and Jason Roy landed in London to begin a 10-day quarantine before heading to their respective homes. The league was suspended indefinitely on Tuesday after multiple Covid-19 cases in its bio-bubble.

England skipper Eoin Morgan, Dawid Malan and Chris Jordan are expected to board a flight to London within the next 48 hours.

“I can confirm that 8 of the 11 England players in India managed to get on a flight to Heathrow last night and have landed this morning,” an England and wales Cricket Board spokesperson said.

“They will now quarantine in government approved hotels. The remaining three — Jordan, Malan, Morgan — should leave India within the next 48 hours,” he added.

The Australians, on the other hand, were still waiting to know when they can fly out to Maldives, where they will stay for a few days before flying home. The detour has been forced by the Australian Government’s travel ban on India till May 15 because of the explosion of Covid-19 cases here.

“All Australians are assembling in Delhi and from there they will head to Maldives by a charter flight,” a franchise official said.

CA’s interim chief Nick Hockley said the BCCI is helping in every possible way to ensure a smooth return for the 14 players, members of the coaching staff and commentators, who are in India right now.

“What the BCCI is working to do is to move the entire cohort out of India where they will wait until it’s possible to return to Australia,” Hockley told reporters in Sydney.

“The BCCI has been working on a range of options. That’s now narrowed down to the Maldives and Sri Lanka. The BCCI is committed not only to the first move but also to putting on a charter to bring them back to Australia,” he added.

It is learnt that the Reliance-owned Mumbai Indians is planning to assist the BCCI’s efforts by arranging a charter flight for its foreign recruits, which include South African Quinton de Kock and West Indian Kieron Pollard.

The franchise, sources said, has also reached out to other teams, asking if they would like their South African and West Indian recruits to board the flight being planned for Johannesburg. From there, it would head to Trinidad with the Caribbean players.

In another development, Chennai Super Kings batting coach Michael Hussey, who tested positive on Tuesday night, will stay in India to serve out his quarantine while others head back in the next few days.

‘tweaked few things’

Australia pacer Pat Cummins feels the IPL organisers, in hindsight, could have ‘tweaked a few things’ after deciding to host the league in India amidst a raging Covid-19 pandemic.

Cummins, a key part of the Kolkata Knight Riders team, said previous edition held in UAE was incredibly ‘well-run’ and the organisers pushed it ‘little step further’ by organising it at home this year.

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