The vast majority of Australia’s 38-strong Indian Premier League contingent has departed for the Maldives, beginning their long and indirect journey home from the aborted Twenty20 tournament.
Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association confirmed on Thursday night that players, coaches, officials and commentators were en route from India to the Maldives.
But Mike Hussey, who is an assistant coach at Chennai Super Kings, was unable to travel with the group as he continues to serve a 10-day isolation period in a Delhi hotel after testing positive for Covid-19.
“Mike is experiencing mild symptoms and is in the care of his IPL franchise, the Chennai Super Kings,” CA and the ACA said in a joint statement. “CA and the ACA will work closely with the BCCI to ensure Mike’s safe return to Australia when it is safe to do so.”
The Board of Control for Cricket in India BCCI and franchises are overseeing arrangements for outbound players after the IPL was halted because of Covid-19 cases among players and staff.
The BCCI has signed off on plans for those from England, New Zealand, South Africa, the West Indies and other parts of the world to fly out. However, Australians are unable to return home until 15 May because of the federal government’s ban on all incoming travellers from coronavirus-ravaged India.
The length of the Australian contingent’s stopover in the Maldives, where Australian commentator Michael Slater fled to earlier this week, may be determined during a meeting of Australia’s national cabinet on Friday.
The worst-case scenario for Pat Cummins and compatriots would be an extension of the ban on travellers from India, meaning they would need to spend a fortnight in the Maldives then a further two weeks in Australia’s hotel quarantine system.
But it appears that is unlikely to happen,