The rising COVID-19 cases in India have started to bring anxiety into the franchise camps of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) as well. Many Australian and England players have already left the tournament to go back home to their families and even India’s Ravichandran Ashwin decided to cut short his IPL stint and be with this family in time of crisis.
India has recorded more than 3,00,000 cases per day for the last four days consecutively and the death rate has also gone up. On the positive side, the recoveries are also on the rise, with the central government opening up the vaccination program to include adults over 18 years of age from May 1.
However, the anxiety and fear for safety have led to Rajasthan Royals’ Liam Livingstone of England becoming the first player to fly back home citing bio-bubble fatigue, and then Andrew Tye of Australia and Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa of Royal Challengers Bangalore became the latest players to opt-out of the IPL 2021.
“I just thought to try and get on the front foot and get home before I got locked out of the country…think I’ve had 11 days at home out of the bubble since August, so for me I just wanted to get home,” Tye told ‘SEN Radio’ from Doha, the transit point before his flight to Perth.
While Kane Richardson got to play one game for RCB, Andrew Tye and Adam Zampa didn’t feature in their franchise’s playing XIs for any match thus far. Kolkata Knight Riders mentor David Hussey acknowledged that Australians in the IPL are a “bit nervous” about getting back home in the wake of the situation here.
As Of Now, IPL 2021 Is Going Ahead: BCCI Official
Despite the continuous departure of players from the ongoing IPL 2021, a BCCI official, on conditions of anonymity, told PTI, that the Indian Premier League 14 will be going on as per schedule. The BCCI, on its part, insisted that the event will continue and it wouldn’t come in the way of those wanting to leave.
“As of now, IPL is going ahead. Obviously, if anyone wants to leave, that’s perfectly fine,” a senior Board official said on conditions of anonymity.
The tournament started with matches in Chennai and Mumbai and now the caravan will move to Ahmedabad, Kolkata, and Delhi for the remainder of the matches.