The Australian contingent that participated in the now suspended Indian Premier League 2021, including Michael Hussey, will return to Australia on Monday. Hussey had tested positive for COVID-19 in New Delhi, where his team Chennai Super Kings was playing when the season was suspended. Hussey, CSK’s batting coach, was flown to Chennai in an air-ambulance where he recovered. Hussey has since returned negative tests and has been cleared to fly.
ESPNcricinfo reported that Hussey will fly a commercial flight via Doha. The rest of the Australian contingent, including Steve Smith, David Warner and Pat Cummins, is in Maldives, having been flown there after the IPL. They will take a chartered flight to Australia, arranged by the BCCI. All of them will have to quarantine in Australia upon arrival.
“The public will see our best Australian cricketers as almost superheroes. They’re brilliant athletes, great cricketers but they’re human beings,” Todd Greenberg, the ACA chief executive was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “Some of them are fathers and husbands, and they’re under enormous amounts of stress. Some deal with it differently. This will probably be an experience they will never forget. We will help them when they come home. Some will cope with it really well, others will need support and counselling and that’s what we’ll do.
“The last 12 months around the globe, we’ve seen all professional athletes travel differently and charter flights maybe two years ago would have seen a different type of commentary than what we would see today. The reality is we’re going to try to keep them as safe as possible and if that’s available, I don’t think we should shy away from that.
“I’m not sure it will create reticence but it will ensure players do their due diligence before they sign agreements,” he said.
“The world is literally changing before our eyes, particularly with Covid and on that side of the world, obviously those cases are going up exponentially. We’re enjoying our freedoms here in Australia. It is a very different place over there. If anything it sends a message to players about making sure you do your homework before making any decisions.”
The Australian government had closed travel from India until May 15 due to rising cases of COVID-19 in the country.