Ashwin, who turned up for Delhi Capitals against Sunrisers Hyderabad in his hometown Chennai on Sunday night, announced his decision on Twitter. “I would be taking a break from this year’s IPL from tomorrow. My family and extended family are putting up a fight against #COVID19 and I want to support them during these tough times. I expect to return to play if things go in the right direction. Thank you Delhi Capitals,” read Ashwin’s tweet.
I would be taking a break from this years IPL from tomorrow. My family and extended family are putting up a fight a… https://t.co/PupcOxA4Ed
— Stay home stay safe! Take your vaccine🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) 1619379917000
It is learnt that Ashwin had been distracted from the beginning of the IPL due to the Covid-19 situation at his home. His wife and his children were not with him in the bubble in Mumbai. Sources told TOI that he tried to put up a brave front for two weeks. It was wise of him to travel with the team to Chennai in a bubble so that he didn’t risk contracting the virus.
Last year, Harbhajan Singh and Suresh Raina had pulled out of the tournament in UAE.
Tye stated that he feared being locked out of Australia as India is being marked in the ‘red list’ by most countries. “There were a number of reasons, but the main one was with the situation that has started to happen back home in Perth with a lot of cases in hotel quarantine coming out of India,” Tye told SEN radio from Doha on Monday.
He also cited bubble fatigue as a contributing factor and added that his fellow Australians in the IPL were enquiring about his travel arrangements.
CA, ECB monitoring players
Cricket Australia (CA) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have decided not to press the panic button yet with many of their centrally-contracted players playing in the IPL. “CA and Australian Cricketers’ Association remain in regular contact with Australian players, coaches and commentators taking part in the IPL, which is being conducted under strict biosecurity protocols,” stated an official release. “We will continue to listen to feedback from those on the ground in India and the advice of the Australian government. Our thoughts are with the people of India at this difficult time,” it added.
There is a possibility of the CA arranging a charter flight for its players after the IPL as they need to prepare for a tour of West Indies in June. It is also learnt that a majority of Australian players are willing to play the entire tournament.
England batsman Liam Livingstone left Rajasthan Royals camp last week but sources in ECB said that no other player has expressed any concern over staying back till the end of the IPL. “We continue to monitor and work with the players on an individual basis. It will be a decision that will be taken by each individual. Our thoughts are with the people of India during these difficult times,” an ECB spokesperson said.
Number of guests capped
The Indian cricket board (BCCI) has decided to ramp up the Covid-19 messaging campaign during the IPL. The board has sent out a message to all stakeholders — including players and broadcasters — to lay extra emphasis on sending messages on Covid-19 protocols. “BCCI is in constant touch with the government. If anything needs to be revised or the board could do anything more to help in the battle against the virus, BCCI will do that,” a BCCI official told TOI.
BCCI has also capped the number of guests allowed in stadiums. So far, 200 guests — including guests of franchises and BCCI and state officials — are allowed to watch the matches at the venues. “The board has informed that there will be no more than 75 guests in the stadiums where there is a surge in Covid cases in the city. Now only 20 from each franchise will be allowed,” the official said.
Board looks to vaccinate players
The BCCI is trying to organise a vaccination drive for its players. The board is in talks with various agencies to get the players vaccinated during the IPL itself before a jumbo squad leaves for England after the IPL.