Australian IPL contingent returns home
Nearly two weeks after the Indian Premier League was suspended, the Australians involved have touched down in Sydney
17 May 2021, 09:14 AM AEST
The majority of Australians who had travelled abroad for the ill-fated Indian Premier League have arrived safely back on home soil.
Star players including David Warner, Pat Cummins, Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell along with support staff and broadcasters like Ricky Ponting and Michael Slater landed in Sydney on Monday morning following a week-long detour in the Maldives.
The almost 40-strong Australian contingent were on a charter flight and will now spend a fortnight in hotel quarantine.
Former Test batter Michael Hussey, who has been recovering in Chennai after contracting COVID-19, is not among them but was expected to return to Australia via a separate flight.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has insisted those involved in the IPL will not be counted in the federal government's returning traveller limits in hotels, with thousands of Australians still trying to return home from India.
"They haven't been given any (special dispensation), I can tell you that," Morrison told repoters on Sunday.
"They'll come in additional to the cap in NSW. The NSW government is happy for them to come in over the cap. That is something we insisted upon and they were happy to agree with that.
"But they'll come back under their own steam, on their own ticket, and they won't be taking the spot in quarantine of any other Australian who's returning home under the NSW cap."
The IPL was suspended earlier this month after the strict bio-secure bubble put in place for the tournament was breached, with multiple teams reporting positive cases amid a devastating surge in COVID-19 deaths in India.
Australians involved in the event travelled to the Maldives on May 6 via a charter flight.
Chennai Super Kings' assistant coach Hussey was among those to contract the virus and was not able to travel to the small archipelago nation in the Indian ocean.
The Board for Control of Cricket in India is believed to be footing the bill for the Australians' flights home having assured players and support staff last month that "the tournament isn't over for BCCI (until) each one of you has reached your home".
Morrison announced last week that Australia's ban on flights from India would end on 15 May, allowing the resumption of repatriation flights, but opted against making a call on commercial flights.
Australians risked fines and jail time if they returned from the virus-stricken country.
Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson had all returned from the IPL before the tournament was postponed.
- with AAP