Cricket Australia’s interim CEO Nick Hockley on Monday expressed delight over the arrival of as many as 40 cricketers in Sydney following the suspension of Indian Premier League 2021 due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in India. CA chief said that he is grateful to the Board of Control for Cricket in India – BCCI – for ensuring Australian players reach their homes safely and quickly from the Maldives. Also Read - Rahul Gandhi Releases White Paper on COVID, Says Aim is to Help Nation Prepare for Possible Third Wave
The 14th edition of IPL was suspended on May 4 due to a massive spike in Coronavirus infections and the entire Australian contingent – the players, support staff, and commentators were shifted out of India to the Maldives via chartered planes. Thirty-eight members of the Australian contingent stranded in the Maldives made their way to home soil on Monday. Chennai Super Kings – CSK- batting coach Michael Hussey who had tested positive for Covid-19 in India is also expected to reach Australia on Monday via a separate flight. Also Read - Covid-19 Vaccine in India: How to Download Vaccination Certificate Online Via CoWIN, Aarogya Setu | Step-by-step Guide
“We’re delighted. We’re really grateful to the BCCI for getting them home quickly and safely. I haven’t spoken to them since they’ve landed, but obviously, we’ve been in text exchange and I’m sure they’ll be very relieved and very appreciative to be home,” Sydney Morning Herald quoted Hockley as saying. Also Read - India's Coronavirus Cases Drop to 42,640 Today; Lowest in Nearly 3 Months; Vaccinations Hit World Record
Over the past week, Sandpaper Gate has once again become a huge talking about after Cameron Bancroft revealed that more than three people (Bancroft, Warner, and Smith) knew about the issue.
When asked whether he has heard what Bancroft said, Hockley replied: “No.”
Hockley was also seen as optimistic about Australia’s upcoming limited-overs series against West Indies. “We plan each tour as we go. We’ve got a bit of time now before West Indies. International cricket will need to support each other, we’ve seen last summer, with India coming here, what a great series that was, and we’re committed to supporting other cricketing nations around the world,” said Hockley.
Earlier this year, Australia had called off the series against South Africa due to rising Covid-19 cases. As a result, Australia did not get a chance to make their points rise in the World Test Championship (WTC) standings.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday said the players and officials were not given any special dispensation. “They are happy, for them to come in over the cap. We insisted upon that, and they were to agree with that, Morrison was quoted as saying by ABC.
“They will come back under their own steam, upon their own ticket, and they won’t be taking the spot in quarantine of any other Australian who is returning home under the NSW caps.”