Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia’s CEO said on Monday (May 31) that it had been too early to discuss whether the Australian players would visit the UAE for the rest of IPL 2021. His comments came close on the heels of the Board of Control for Cricket in India confirming the Emirates because the destination for the unfinished part of the IPL, which is probably going to be held in September-October.
The ECB has already informed that English players won’t be available for the remaining part of the IPL thanks to a packed calendar and therefore the incontrovertible fact that the T20 World Cup also will be played later this year. CA, meanwhile, remained non-committal at this stage, stressing that the priorities were to reunite the personnel who came out of quarantine on Monday with their families and steel themselves against the upcoming West Indies tour.
“Our players from the IPL only today came out of quarantine, so our priority is to form sure they’re reunited with their families which they’re safe and well,” said Hockley, shortly after the announcement of his appointment as full-time CEO of CA. “We’ve got a tour to organize for within the West Indies but once they’re out of quarantine and that we revisit together as a gaggle, that (IPL participation) are some things we’ll get to discuss.”
After the IPL came to an abrupt halt thanks to COVID-19 positive cases within the bubble, Australia’s group – including cricketers, commentators, medical staff, coaching staff, and officials – were flown to Sri Lanka and Maldives initially as there was a travel ban from India to Australia till May 15. The party was forced to attend for 10 days before the BCCI flew them to Australia via a charter flight.
After that, a 14-day quarantine commenced, and therefore the moment it ended this morning, the personnel dispersed to satisfy their respective families. Speaking about the return of the group, Hockley said they were a touch ‘shaken up’ having to go away from India in a hasty manner. “We’ve been texting, and I have spoken to a few of the broader group, not just the players but there’s commentators, match officials, and physios. they’re quite shaken from the experience, very appreciative to be home back here in Australia.”
The players will now spend around a fortnight with their families before regrouping for a tour to the Caribbean where they’re slated to play a slew of limited-overs games against West Indies. Except for David Warner and Pat Cummins – who have reportedly opted out of the tour to be with their families – the remainder of the players and staff will regroup at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane before flying out for a series of 5 T20Is and three ODIs which starts on July 10. The T20Is are going to be played at St. Lucia before the players fly to Barbados for the ODI leg.
The Caribbean-bound squad also will receive vaccination before they board the flight, informed Hockley, and welcomed the Australian government’s initiative to supply vaccines to people that want to fly out for work.
“It’s a few of weeks before the West Indies touring party regroups at the National Cricket Centre and that I think that’s a time to re-focus,” said Hockley. “We welcome the govt announcements that folks granted exemptions to go away to Australia for work purposes are going to be eligible for the vaccine. So now, once the players are out of quarantine, we’ll be working to supply them vaccinations before avoiding to the West Indies .”