IPL 2021: Australian contingent finally reach home

Two weeks after BCCI indefinitely suspended IPL 2021, Aussie cricketers involved with the tournament have finally landed in Sydney on Monday. The Australian contingent had been rushed off to Maldives after IPL 2021 was suspended. Players had to quarantine on the island nation as the Australian government had cancelled any direct/indirect flights from India.

A group of 38 players, coaches, officials, and TV commentators had reportedly been staying in the Maldives, after leaving India on May 6 in a charter flight arranged and paid for by the BCCI. The Australian government lifted a temporary ban after May 15 that allowed for the group to return.

Players from other countries immediately returned home after suspension, but Australian players couldn’t return due to government restrictions. Prime Minister Scott Morrison insisted that cricketers had not been given any special treatment, and would be coming back “under their own steam, on their own ticket”. National broadcaster ABC reported that players including Steve Smith and David Warner were on board an Air Seychelles plane that touched down in Sydney about 7:30 am local time.

They are now expected to undergo 14 days of quarantine in a Sydney hotel, as part of strict border controls that have largely contained the spread of the virus in Australia. Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye, and Kane Richardson had left their IPL teams due to covid concerns before the suspension of the tournament. The trio completed the quarantine last week.

IPL 2021 had started in April despite the havoc created by the second wave of coronavirus. After three weeks of the tournament, BCCI had to suspend the tournament due to numerous cases in bio-bubbles of four teams. Meanwhile, Cricket Australia has announced a 23 member squad for the series against West Indies in July. The majority of players returning from IPL 2021 have been included in the squad for the tour of the Caribbean.

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