27 Apr 2021

Australian cricketers leave IPL, New Zealanders staying

6:31 am on 27 April 2021

Australian cricketers Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson and Andrew Tye have cut short their Indian Premier League season and headed home as India struggles with a massive surge in Covid-19 cases.

Trent Boult playing in the 2019 IPL.

Trent Boult at the IPL Photo: Photosport

No action has been taken yet by New Zealanders at the tournament.

Tye, who was with the Rajasthan Royals, flew to Sydney on Sunday citing the "stress of bubble life" and concerns about borders closing in Australia.

"I just thought I should try and get on the front foot and get home before I got locked out of the country," he told Australian radio station SEN.

Zampa and Richardson followed suit, with Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday saying the pair were returning to Australia for "personal reasons".

Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has also pulled out of the IPL.

There are nine New Zealanders playing in the competition.

A New Zealand Cricket spokesperson said they were keeping in close contact with the players and the respective IPL teams in which they play, and they had not received any advice at this point.

The England and Wales Cricket Board is not currently aware of any England players planning to leave the IPL, with individuals set to make their own decisions, rather than the governing body.

India has been reporting more than 300,000 cases for days, setting new daily global records.

Australian fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile said he felt safer in the tournament bubble.

"I was surprised to see AJ go home, then Zamps and Richo, but when you speak to them, you definitely understand where they're coming from," the Mumbai Indians player told cricket.com.au.

"I feel like it's safer for me to stay in the bubble ... worse comes to worst, we'll have to quarantine in Dubai for a couple of weeks before we can fly home."

New Zealand has temporarily suspended all flights from India.

Kolkata Knight Riders' Australian player Pat Cummins donated $50,000 to an Indian coronavirus relief fund to help purchase oxygen for hospitals.

"I encourage my fellow IPL players - and anyone else round the world who has been touched by India's passion and generosity to contribute," Cummins said.

IPL organisers have said they will push on with the tournament amid growing criticism.

- Reuters

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