The ongoing season of Indian Premier League has not been an easy one for the cricketers so far. The rising cases of COVID-19 across the globe, especially in India, and being in the bio-secure bubbles for such a long time have certainly had an impact on the mental state of overseas players. It has mostly been the Australian cricketers who have pulled out of IPL 2021, with Mitchell Marsh and Josh Hazlewood backing out early in the season.
While it was believed that no more player will leave after that, the list has gone bigger and bigger with Liam Livingstone and Andrew Tye also leaving for home. Recently, RCB also confirmed that their Aussie duo of Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson have also decided to fly back home.
Flights to Australia suspended till May 15
In a recent turn of events, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed on Tuesday that the direct flights from India to Australia will be suspended at least until May 15. The announcement might mean that Zampa and Richardson might not be able to travel to Australia anytime soon and will have to stay in India till May 15 atleast. The duo has already left the RCB bio-bubble and have reportedly moved to a hotel close to Mumbai airport.
Meanwhile, a CA spokesperson confirmed that they are trying to work out a possible way to get the players back to Australia. "We are trying to see if the government does give us the go ahead to bring the players back. If we get the nod, it's all pretty straightforward. But if not, we'll be working with the ACA and BCCI to make sure they're in a secure environment," the CA spokesperson said.
Can the duo return to RCB?
It is expected that Zampa and Richardson will get an exemption to go back to Australia. However, if they do not get the permission, there is a possibility that they might go back to RCB's bio-bubble which might just be a much more safer and better option for the players than staying alone in the hotel. Royal Challengers Bangalore are currently in Ahmedabad and will move to Kolkata after that. With CA in constant touch with BCCI and the players, it will be interesting to see how the situation is handled in the next few days.
NOTE: This article was written and published before Scott Kuggeleijn joined RCB as a replacement for Kane Richardson for the remainder of the season.