IPL 2021: "A bit of anxiety for a few of the Aussies over here" - Pat Cummins on being stranded in India

Pat Cummins picked 9 wickets in 7 matches played in IPL 2021 [Credits: IPL]
Pat Cummins picked 9 wickets in 7 matches played in IPL 2021 [Credits: IPL]
Modified 05 May 2021

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) fast bowler Pat Cummins has admitted to facing anxiety after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) indefinitely suspended IPL 2021 on Tuesday (May 4). He is among 14 Aussie cricketers stranded after their government closed its borders, at least until May 15, to its citizens currently in India.

The BCCI top brass made the decision after rising cases of COVID-19 in the IPL bio-secure bubble. The first blow came when Cummins’ KKR teammates Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive for the dreaded virus on Monday (May 3).

In such a situation of uncertainty, Cummins has no option but to stay hopeful.

“Obviously no one has experienced that before. It added a bit of anxiety for a few of the Aussies over here. But we signed up to play the tournament until the start of June. Hopefully it all re-opens on May 15 and we’ll be able to get back,” Pat Cummins told Fox Sports.

The Australian federal government has emphatically given a red light to its citizens from returning to the island within 14 days of being in India. They've even announced fines and jail terms for any potential breach.

While there were a few reports stating a contingency plan for the Australians to fly down to Maldives, from where they could return home after two weeks, the Aussie entourage of players and support staff are currently reported to have not left their respective team hotels.

While Pat Cummins is isolating in an Ahmedabad hotel, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) batting coach Michael Hussey has been placed under quarantine in a Delhi hotel after testing positive twice on Tuesday (May 4).

Notably, broadcaster Michael Slater went to Maldives on Monday, lambasting his government for the predicament. If the remaining Australians in the IPL go down that path, they will undertake the journey together.

The English and Bangladeshi players too are facing logistical issues, with their respective governments having imposed travel restrictions on India. The Kiwi cricketers are comparatively in a better space, with their cricket board and government chalking out an exit plan.

“I’m not sure IPL 2021 should have started in India” – Adam Gilchrist

Delhi Capitals currently sit on top of the points table with 6 wins from 8 games [Credits: IPL]
Delhi Capitals currently sit on top of the points table with 6 wins from 8 games [Credits: IPL]

While the two positive cases in the KKR camp landed IPL 2021 in a soup, the news of CSK bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji and a bus cleaner having contracted the virus, on Monday evening, served as a double whammy.

The final nails in the coffin were when SunRisers Hyderabad wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha and Delhi Capitals leg-spinner Amit Mishra were handed positive reports on Tuesday morning.

Even though the BCCI and the IPL Governing Council has reassured foreign players of their safe travel back, cricketer-turned-commentator Adam Gilchrist slammed the authorities for staging the tournament amidst a spurt of cases in the country.

“Interesting comment about the BCCI saying ... they’re thinking about the safety of all the players. I probably feel that they’re a little bit late in considering that. I’m not sure that the tournament should have started in India,” Gilchrist, who last played the IPL in 2013, said in a video on Sky News.

In hindsight, Aussies Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson and Andrew Tye played the right cards when they pulled out of the IPL and headed home at the end of last month.

The 14th edition of the cash-rich league started on April 9, on a day when 1.45 lakh cases were recorded in the country. Now, almost a month later, the official daily figures are touching the 3.60-lakh mark with daily deaths rising by around 3,500.

Published 05 May 2021
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