The second wave of the COVID-19 has become more dangerous and has been affecting people severely. Amid this situation, the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been taking place across six venues in India as well. But a few Australian players have decided to pull out of the league as well thinking the suspension of flights from India. However, Delhi Capitals’ head coach Ricky Ponting has said that it’s a “small issue” while it is compared to the situation that happened by the second wave of COVID-19 infections.
However, Australia on Tuesday has suspended all direct passenger flights from India until May 15 due to the crunch time of COVID-19 and the rise of positive cases in India. Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also ensured that cricketers playing in the IPL will have to make their “own arrangements” to return their home post the league.
“There have been revelations that our government has made as far as Australians in India returning to Australia. No doubt there have been few distractions, but the travel side for us and Australians who are here is only a small issue,” Ponting said in a virtual press conference after Delhi lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore by one run. “On daily basis, we are thinking about what’s happening outside and we understand how blessed we are to be doing what we are doing. Hopefully, there are a number of people in India who got enjoyment by watching IPL cricket.”
While three Australian players have quit the bio-bubble, Mumbai Indians batsman Chris Lynn has requested Cricket Australia to arrange for a chartered flight for their return after the tournament. However, the BCCI has already assured that they will do all the necessary arrangements for their return once the tournament ends.
On the other hand, veteran India and Delhi Capitals spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has decided to take a break from the tournament to support his family.
“It is a really strange feeling amongst our team right now. We are very aware of what’s happening outside and in India at the moment. Obviously, our hearts go out to every single person that’s struggling with COVID-19 in the Indian society,” Ricky Ponting said. “We have had our one player leave as well, Ravichandran Ashwin left to be with his family so that is affecting, we are talking about it more than most teams are.”
While speaking about the one-run defeat to RCB, Ponting said, “Our last game went to a Super Over and against RCB, we lost by one run. That can only hold you in good stead when the bigger comes at the backend. We have got three games in four days, we have to take our learnings. The team is disappointed but also proud how boys fought. We will not overanalyse.”
Delhi Capitals will next play against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Ahmedabad on Thursday.