Cricket Australia will not seek an exemption to repatriate Australia’s stranded Indian Premier League stars in the wake of the competition’s suspension.
In a statement released tonight, CA said they are in contact with the Board of Control for Cricket in India as they work through plans to ensure safe housing for Australian cricketers trapped in the global disaster zone until they can be repatriated in line with Australian Government directives.
The BCCI made the decision tonight to indefinitely suspend the league after a host of players tested positive to the virus.
The decision has been welcomed by CA in light of the devastation tearing through India. But it has also raised question over the immediate future of Australia’s IPL stars.
More than 30 Australians remain at the IPL, including players, commentators and support staff, with Pat Cummins and Ben Cutting now in isolation, following confirmation two of their Kolkata Knight Riders teammates had tested positive to the virus.
But with play suspended, immediate courses of action for international stars are unclear as the league and its franchises disband effective immediately.
Responding to the unfolding crisis, CA said they are working with Indian authorities to ensure the safety and eventual repatriation of some of Australia’s biggest names in cricket.
“Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association understand the decision of the BCCI to indefinitely postpone the 2021 Indian Premier League for the safety and wellbeing of all participants,” A CA statement released on Tuesday night read.
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“CA is in direct contact with the BCCI as they work through plans to ensure the safe accommodation and repatriation of Australian players, coaches, match officials and commentators back home to Australia.
“CA and the ACA respect the decision of the Australian Government to pause travel from India until at least May 15 and will not seek exemptions.
“CA and the ACA thank the BCCI for their efforts and cooperation for the safe repatriation of all participants at the IPL.”
The development comes as Aussie cricket great Michael Slater launched a furious attack on Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, accusing him of having “blood on your hands” and calling for him to “sort out” the quarantine system.
Mr Morrison labelled the claims absurd, telling Nine’s Today show that the temporary ban on travel from India was necessary due to that country’s huge spike in positive cases.
Speaking on Radio 2GB, the chief executive of the ACA, Todd Greenberg, said Slater’s situation highlighted the complexity of the issue.
“They are strong words, and I think you can sense through Michael his frustration, and I’m sure that frustration will be shared by a lot of Australians who are stranded, not just cricketers, but Australians stranded in other parts of the world who want to come home,” he said.
“It’s a very difficult one for the government, they’re clearly trying to keep us all safe here, but also look after our own who are elsewhere across the world.
“We’re just going to have to work closely with government, we’re just going to have to work closely with each other, be patient, and try to find a plan home.”
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