Australian players flew off to Maldives, the South Africans headed home and the ones from New Zealand waited to be sent back on Friday as the suspended IPL’s foreign cricketers bid adieu to India.
The 40-strong Australian contingent, except for a Covid-positive Mike Hussey, left for Maldives on Thursday to serve out the waiting period before they can board a flight to Australia once the travel restrictions end on May 15.
“We can confirm that Australian players, coaches, match officials and commentators have been safely transported from India and are en route to the Maldives,” Cricket Australia stated in a press release.
“The Australians will remain in Maldives until the conclusion of the travel pause pertaining to flights from India to Australia,” it added.
The IPL was suspended on Tuesday after four players and two coaching staff members from three different teams tested positive for Covid-19 inside the bio-bubble.
Of the 40 Australians involved in the league after three early pullouts, 14 were players, including mega-stars such as David Warner, Pat Cummins, and Steve Smith among others.
The 11 South Africans in the league boarded flights for Johannesburg as their country has not imposed any restrictions on travel from India, which recorded more than 4 lakh Covid-19 cases on Thursday and close to 4,000 deaths.
“My constant prayers is with the people from India to get through this. Pls Take care of yourselves,” Proteas star Faf du Plessis, who turned up Chennai Super Kings, posted on Instagram.
Hussey, the batting coach of Chennai Super Kings, was brought to Chennai from Delhi in an air ambulance and will be in a quarantine there to recover from the infection.
“Mike is experiencing mild symptoms and is in the care of his franchise Chennai Super Kings,” Cricket Australia stated.
They thanked the BCCI for its assistance in ensuring that players were able to leave India within two days of the league’s suspension owing to Covid-19 cases inside its bio-bubble.