Sydney: Australia's jumbo IPL cohort comprising players, coaches, commentators and match officials on Monday reunited with their family members after serving a 14-day hotel quarantine here.
The group of almost 40 players and others were flown to the Maldives early this month when the IPL 2021 was postponed due to the escalating COVID-19 crisis in India.With a temporary ban placed on all arrivals from India by the Australia Government until May 15, the group was forced to wait 10 days until the ban was lifted and their charter flight arrived in Sydney where they undertook a further 14 days of hotel quarantine.
Cricket Australia's newly-appointed chief executive officer Nick Hockley said he had been in contact with players and other members of the IPL group who were relieved to be back in Australia and heading home.
"We've been texting, and I've spoken to a couple of the broader group, not just the players but there''s commentators, match officials and physios," Hockley said."They are clearly quite shaken from the experience, very appreciative to be home back here in Australia."
The BCCI paid for the charter flights and accommodation of the Australians in the Maldives and Sydney, and Hockley thanked the Indian board for the manner in which it helped them after the abrupt suspension of the IPL 2021 due to the COVID-19.
"I would reiterate that the BCCI have been absolutely fantastic in supporting the playing group, and the entire group in terms of getting home safely and we're very grateful for that," Hockley said.
"It's a couple of weeks before the West Indies touring party regroups at the National Cricket Centre and I think that's a time to re-focus."But I know for now they're looking forward to spending some time over the next couple of weeks with family and friends."
Talking about the IPL 2021, Hockley said that it was too early to comment on whether the Australian players would travel to the UAE for the remainder of the tournament.
His comments came close on the heels of the BCCI announcing last week the suspended competition will be completed in the UAE ''in the months of September-October this year".
"Our players from the IPL only today came out of quarantine, so our first priority is to make sure they are reunited with their families and that they're safe and well," said Hockley.
"We've obviously got a tour to prepare for in the West Indies but once they're out of quarantine and we get back together as a group, that (IPL participation) is something we'll need to discuss," he added.(UNI)