Two Australian cricket stars have been found stranded in an Indian city after their desperate, last-minute attempt to return home failed.
There are fears for Aussie cricket stars Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa after it was revealed Tuesday night the pair failed to beat the Australian border closure to India.
Aussie cricket stars playing in the Indian Premier League have been caught in the eye of India’s COVID-19 storm with the tournament continuing within a biosecurity bubble that keeps players away from the general public.
On Monday, India recorded another day of record coronavirus figures, with 352,991 new infections and 2812 deaths. The COVID-19 crisis had prompted Zampa and Richardson to abandon their IPL campaigns to return home — following in the footsteps of Andrew Tye, who announced one day earlier that he was returning to Australia.
That one day has ultimately proven to have been critical with Tye flying to Sydney to complete two weeks of hotel quarantine, while Zampa and Richardson have been locked out under the border protection announcements made on Tuesday.
Australia’s border has been shut with Prime Minister Scott Morrison announcing on Tuesday that flights to and from India into Australia have now been suspended until May 15.
The suspension of travel includes eight repatriation flights that were planned to return from India next month.
The IPL does not conclude until the end of May.
There are still 14 Aussies including David Warner, Steve Smith and Pat Cummins, as well as a handful of coaches such as Ricky Ponting and Simon Katich still in India.
It was revealed on Tuesday night Zampa and Richardson have been left stranded in Mumbai after leaving the IPL biosecurity bubble and announcing their intent to return home.
The pair gave up their six-figure contracts with the Royal Challengers Bangalore but their plans to return home were derailed by Tuesday’s announcement.
While mystery surrounded the pair’s location earlier on Tuesday, it has been revealed both players are in Mumbai — away from their teammates — and are facing an uncertain future.
Sporting News first reported Richardson and Zampa are still hoping to return to Australia via Doha, but are unsure if they will be allowed to fly out of Mumbai and may be stranded in the Indian city until the May 15 order is lifted.
Tye on Tuesday night made a TV appearance to say he has no regrets about his decision to return home.
“The bubble is very safe and very contained so we didn’t really have too much idea what was going on other than what we were seeing on the TV or on social media really,” Tye told Network Ten’s The Project from his Sydney hotel room.
“I think it was the fact that things were happening in Australia, with hotel quarantine cases being so rough with cases from India. And then governments, state governments, sort of saying they want to back out of having flights from India land or cut down the number of people coming in from India.
“So, yeah, I made a pretty, pretty swift decision for me to jump on the next flight I could get out and get home, Some of them are definitely worried.
“Obviously, some are trying to get out and others are quite happy and content to stay there and see the IPL out.
“I respect each and every one’s individual decisions and that’s their prerogative and I did what was best for me.”
Aussie players still playing in the IPL face a long wait to return home with Prime Minister Scott Morrison declaring on Tuesday cricket stars would not receive any special treatment.