Cricket: Australian batsman David Warner had to wear full PPE gear to travel around India
Some of David Warner’s Australian teammates have left the Indian Premier League as the country battles a horror new wave of COVID-19 and a travel ban means they are stuck there.
Warner, who is captain of the Sunrisers Hyderabad, posted a photo of the extreme lengths he and his teammates have to go to in order to travel through India at the moment.
The opening batsman, who is on a contract in excess of $2.5 million in the IPL, had to wear head-to-toe protective clothing to avoid any chance of contracting coronavirus.
Australian white-ball stars Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson on Monday joined fellow bowler Andrew Tye in leaving the IPL to return home as the crisis in India worsens.
Reports in India have suggested Warner, Steve Smith and all Australians still in India could be flown home before borders shut, and the IPL postponed.
But on Tuesday flights to and from India into Australia were suspended until May 15 including eight repatriation flights that were planned to return from India next month
Batting star Chris Lynn called for Cricket Australia to facilitate a charter flight out of the country in the coming weeks, but several players were all thought to be willing to remain put.
Aussie superstar quick Pat Cummins has vowed to stay and donated $50,000 to help the nation fight the outbreak.
Cummins, playing on a deal in excess of $3 million, also called for other players to donate to the PM Cares Fund.
“India is a country I’ve come to love dearly over the years and the people here are some of the warmest and kindest I’ve ever met,’’ he said in a the statement.
“To know so many are suffering so greatly at this time saddens me greatly.’
“There has been quite a bit of discussion over here as to whether it is appropriate for the IPL to continue while COVID-19 infection rates remain high. I’m advised that the Indian government is of the view that playing the IPL while the population is in lockdown provides a few hours of joy and respite each day at an otherwise difficult time for the country.
“As players, we are privileged to have a platform that allows us to reach millions of people that we can use for good. With that in mind, I have made a contribution to the “PM Cares Fund”, specifically to purchase oxygen supplies for India’s hospitals.
“I encourage my fellow IPL players – and anyone around else the world who has been touched by India’s passion and generosity – to contribute. I will kick it off with $50,000.
“At times like this it is easy to feel helpless. I’ve certainly felt that of late. But I hope by making this public appeal we can all channel our emotions into action that will bring light into people’s lives.
There are still 14 Aussies including Warner and Cummins, as well as a handful of coaches like Ricky Ponting and Simon Katich still in India
Paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile told cricket.com.au he planned to stay with his Mumbai Indians franchise.
“Everyone‘s got their own opinions on it and different situations for them,” Coulter-Nile told cricket.com.au.
“I was surprised to see AJ go home, and then Zamps and Richo, but when you speak to them, you definitely understand where they‘re coming from.
“I spoke to Zamps a little while ago and he made a very compelling argument for going home. But for me, I feel like it‘s safer for me to stay in the bubble than try and get home at the moment.
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