IPL Auction 2021. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)
As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc in India, the shivers of it are reaching even inside the safe bio-secure bubble of the Indian Premier League. Despite the vaccine rollout at a mass level, the cases are continuing to rise and the nation’s health infrastructure is crumbling in the midst of the second wave of the virus with over a million new cases reported over the last three days.
Being conducted in a tight bio-bubble, the IPL has not yet reported any mishap until now, although the concerns of overseas players regarding safety and the future during the unpredictable times have led to a few exits in the recent past.
As many as three players have opted out of the tournament in the last 24 hours due to different concerns. There have been growing voices about whether the tournament should be conducted in such tragic times, however, BCCI has clarified the stance that there are no plans in place to bring any change in the schedule as of now.
Who all have opted out mid-IPL 2021?
Liam Livingstone, Rajasthan Royals’ batsman, cited bubble fatigue as a reason for his opting out from the tournament, having spent a considerable amount of time in bio-secure environments in the recent past. His RR teammate and fast bowler, Andrew Tye, flew back to Australia intending to avoid the growing risks in India and the fear of not being able to return to his nation due to flight unavailability.
Some reports suggested that two other Australian players had similar concerns, and they are understood to be Royal Challenger Bangalore’s Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa, who pulled out of the tournament citing “personal reasons”. Making the announcement official, RCB tweeted on Monday morning through its official handle: “Adam Zampa & Kane Richardson are returning to Australia for personal reasons and will be unavailable for the remainder of #IPL2021. Royal Challengers Bangalore management respects their decision and offers them complete support.”
Zampa’s and Richardson’s exit had come only a few hours after Indian spinner and Delhi Capitals’ player Ravichandran Ashwin took to Twitter and announced his decision to not participate in the IPL to stay with his family in the time of such crisis.
“I would be taking a break from this year’s IPL from tomorrow. My family and extended family are putting up a fight against #COVID19 and I want to support them during these tough times. I expect to return to play if things go in the right direction. Thank you @DelhiCapitals,” he tweeted late at night.
Meanwhile, sources in England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket Australia said that they do not plan to call the players back, but they will do the best to facilitate the return of players who wish to fly home.
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