Wed, 23 Jun 2021

Sydney [Australia], May 5 (ANI): Todd Greenberg, the chief executive of the Australian Cricketers' Association has advised his players to do proper homework before signing up for T20 leagues across the world.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season got postponed on Tuesday due to rising number of Covid-19 cases and as a result, the Australian contingent that had come to India is now stranded and their only hope of entering Australia lies in the travel ban being lifted after May 15.

Last week, Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison had announced a travel ban on passenger flights from India till May 15.

"I'm not sure it will create reticence in the future but it will ensure players do their due diligence before they sign agreements. The world is literally changing before our eyes particularly with Covid and on that side of the world, obviously, those cases are going up exponentially," ESPNcricinfo quoted Greenberg as saying.

"We're enjoying our freedoms here in Australia. It is a very different place over there. If anything it sends a message to players about making sure you do your homework before making any decisions," he added.

There are 38 Australians who are currently in India and the contigent is now likely to move either to the Maldives or Sri Lanka. After May 15, the contingent may then finally move to Australia.

"I was at pains to point it out during the week, the public will see our best Australian cricketers as almost superheroes, they're brilliant athletes, great cricketers, but they're human beings, some of them are fathers and husbands and they're under enormous amounts of stress. Some deal with it differently. This will probably be an experience they will never forget," said Greenberg.

"We will help them when they come home. Some will cope with it really well, others will need support and counselling and that's what we'll do. They signed up with their eyes wide open about some of the challenges and risks when they went in. What they didn't expect was the borders to be closed. That created anxiety for them, just like it would create anxiety for the 9,000-odd Australians over there looking to come home. That's a normal reaction for our players," he added.

With the 14th edition of the IPL postponed, Cricket Australia's interim Chief Executive Officer Nick Hockley has said that every arrangement is being made to repatriate the Australian contingent as soon as possible. Hockley went on to add that Sri Lanka and Maldives are the two places that have been zeroed in on for the Australian contingent to move to from India before they return home since direct flights from India to Australia have been stopped with an eye on the second COVID-19 wave.

"We're working on arrangements to repatriate all the players, the support staff, umpires, commentators as quickly and as safely as possible. What we're working to do and what the BCCI are working to do, and they've been incredibly cooperative, is working to move the entire cohort out of India. So the BCCI has been working on a range of options. That's now narrowed down to the Maldives and Sri Lanka. The BCCI are working through the final details of that at the moment and we expect that movement will happen in the next two to three days," he told reporters on Wednesday. (ANI)

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