There are close to 40 Australians comprising of cricketers, commentators, support staff and others in various Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) bio-bubbles. With the tournament postponed indefinitely, the Australian contingent is expected to fly to the Maldives from India as Australia has closed the borders for its citizens from India.
Last week, the Australian government imposed a ban on all flights from India till May 15. So, the Maldives could be a perfect alternative destination for the contingent, given that the island nation has reported only a few hundreds of cases over the last two weeks. Commentator Michael Slater is already in the country, having left the bio-bubble, last week.
Daniel Christian, who is a part of Virat Kohli-led RCB, could be the only one who might fly to the United Kingdom (UK) since he is set to lead the Nottinghamshire Outlaws for their defence of the T20 Blast. However, the direct route is also shut for him as England, as well as the UAE, a key transit point, is also shut for all passengers from India.
Last week, KKR pacer Pat Cummins, during a chat with The Back Page on Fox Sports, acknowledged that there was a bit of anxiety amongst the Aussies participating in the IPL. He, however, also hoped that things would get better by May 15, after which Australia is likely to open the borders for its citizens 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,” Cummins told.
“[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,” he added.
“Think we are all hoping we can get home like 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],” he further stated.
“Cricket Australia have 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 concluded.
The BCCI has also been coordinating with CA and the Australian government to ensure a safe return for all Australians who were involved with the IPL. But, for now, the Australian government is pretty firm in their stance.