May 05, 2021

Aussie players to head to Sri Lanka or Maldives 

Australian players left in India following the suspension of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament will be moved out of the country in the next few days as part of a plan to get them back to Australia.
 
Thirty-eight Australians, including players, commentators, coaches and officials are in India, but will move to the Maldives or Sri Lanka.
 
"The BCCI [Board of Control for Cricket in India] is working through arrangements to repatriate [the Australians] as quickly and safely as possible," Cricket Australia's interim chief executive Nick Hockley said.

"What the BCCI is working to do is to move the entire cohort out of India where they will wait until it is possible to return to Australia."

Direct travel from COVID-hit India to Australia is currently an offence, and carries the threat of jail time and hefty fines.

Australian Cricketers' Association chief executive Todd Greenberg said the cricketers were not asking for special quarantine arrangements in Australia.

"The first step is getting them out of India, and the second step is getting them safely home," he said.

He said the next step would be locked in after the federal government reviewed the current travel ban on May 15.

"Once we have that confirmation then clearly we'll put the next part of steps in place."

Former Test player Michael Hussey has tested positive for COVID-19 and will complete 10 days of quarantine in a hotel in India, before being allowed to leave the country.

Australian cricketers Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson and Andrew Tye paid their own way home last month.

Mr Greenberg said the players knew what they were getting into when they signed up to play in India.

"They always knew when they came back they would have to do isolation of 14 days to come back into the country.

"What they didn't expect was the borders to be closed, so that created some anxiety for them."

The travel ban has left Australian citizens stranded in India as COVID infection rates continue to soar. The country recorded more than 3,700 deaths on Wednesday, and has recorded more than 20 million infections, although the real numbers are believed to be much higher.

Earlier this week former cricketer Michael Slater accused Prime Minister Scott Morrison of having blood on his hands.

"If our government cared for the safety of Aussies they would allow us to get home. It's a disgrace," he wrote on Twitter on Monday night.

"I had government permission to work on the IPL but I now have government neglect."
 

 

(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by abc.net.au has not been edited by SLM staff)

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