The IPL has been hit by another COVID-19 scare, with players and staff from the Kolkata Knight Riders in isolation.
The Indian Premier League has been hit by another COVID-19 scare, with players and staff from the Kolkata Knight Riders in isolation after multiple players reportedly fell ill.
With the league pushing on amid the country’s COVID disaster, The Herald and The Age report that personnel within the KKR camp – which features Australian superstar Pat Cummins – are unwell.
Their match against Royal Challengers Bangalore which was scheduled for Monday night has now been postponed.
In all, about a dozen Australian cricketers are still in India playing in the IPL, including the likes of superstars Cummins, Steve Smith, David Warner, Glenn Maxwell and Lynn – who are all on big-money contracts.
When asked specifically about the situation concerning Aussie cricketers stranded in the global COVID hotspot, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there would not be any preferential treatment, even when repatriation flights resume on May 15.
“They’ve travelled their privately under their own arrangements. This wasn’t part of an Australian tour,” Morrison said.
“And they’re under their own resources and they’ll be using those resources, I’m sure, to see them return to Australia in accordance with our own arrangements.”
The group stage of the IPL is due to finish on May 23 with the final on May 30. The tournament is being played behind closed doors with teams operating within biosecurity bubbles.
Earlier today, Indian national coach Ravi Shastri told SEN he remains hopeful the T20 World Cup, to be held in India, will be able to go ahead in October.
“I’m very positive, even now,” he said. “Just what the experts are predicting as far as when it’s going to peak in India, they’re predicting May 15, and then we’ll have to see after that whether it’s earlier or later.
“By the time October comes, I think 75-80 percent of Indians will be vaccinated and a lot of them will have recovered from the disease, they might not need a vaccination as the antibodies will be high.”
Shastri says the success of the IPL will be a major factor in convincing international teams to travel to India for the World Cup.
“I think a lot of the players who have been here, and are part of the IPL will probably spread the same message,” he said.
“They know how quickly things can change, it’s too early. Yes, come June or July, if there’s no improvement, then you can take a course. But as of now, I am very confident it can stay.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!