Australian cricketers return home from IPL 2021

Pat Cummins and Steve Smith were among the stars of Australia’s IPL contingent who arrived back in Sydney on Monday, almost two weeks after the lucrative cricket tournament was suspended amid surging COVID-19 infections in the host country. On May 4 IPL was postponed indefinitely after players or staff from at least three of the eight franchises returned positive tests for the coronavirus. Tournament organizers urged players from all over the world to return to their homes as soon as possible. But the timing left Australian players, coaches and commentators in limbo because the government had temporarily barred incoming travelers from India. Most of the Australians relocated to the Maldives and waited for the travel ban to be lifted before getting a charter flight home. They will have to spend two weeks in hotel quarantine. Former Australian cricketer Mike Hussey was expected to return home later Monday after remaining in India to isolate after testing positive for COVID-19. The New South Wales state government has coordinated a quarantine arrangement for the cricket contingent that does not impact the capped, overstretched system in place for travelers arriving from abroad. The players in the IPL work on individual contracts and the league is not part of their obligations with the national team. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the cricketers didn’t take one place in quarantine that anyone else has otherwise had as that was something they insisted with the New South Wales state government.

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