New Delhi: Mumbai Indians (MI) batsman Chris Lynn has requested Cricket Australia (CA) to arrange a chartered flight. The flight will take its players home from COVID-ravaged India after the IPL is over. Chris Lynn also revealed that his franchise will get all members of the team vaccinated next week.
Three Australian players – Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa have already withdrawn from the IPL. They have done so to be with their families amid the escalating health crisis due to the pandemic’s second wave in Indian.
CA had enquired Monday about the health and travel plans of the IPL players.
“I texted back that Cricket Australia make 10 per cent of every IPL contract. So if there is a chance we could spend that money this year on a charter flight once the tournament is over?” Lynn told ‘News Corp’ media.
The IPL league matches will end May 23. It will be followed by the qualifiers (May 25, 28) and eliminator (May 26). The final comes of May 30. All the games will be played in Ahmedabad.
“I know there are people worse off than us. But we are going from a really tight bubble and are getting vaccinated next week. So hopefully the government will let us get home on a private charter,” Lynn said.
“We are not asking for shortcuts and we signed up knowing the risks. But it would be great to get home as soon as the event is over,” he added.
India will open vaccination for all above 18 from May 1. The Reliance group owns Mumbai Indians. It has already announced that it will facilitate vaccination of all its staff members and their dependent family members.
A total of 14 Australian players and support staff still remain in the IPL. Among them are Steve Smith (Delhi Capitals), David Warner (SunRisers Hyderabad) and Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders) as well as coach Ricky Ponting (DC) and Simon Katich (RCB).
“Obviously India is in chaos at the moment. But we are at least giving people something to smile about by playing the tournament,” Lynn asserted.
While some Australian players have returned home, their New Zealand counterparts have no such plans. “There’s no doubt they’re certainly anxious about what’s happening in India and what they’re witnessing,” New Zealand Cricket Players Association chief executive Heath Mills said Tuesday. “But they feel well looked-after by their IPL franchises and safe in their bubbles,” he added.
Lynn’s suggestion came a few hours after Australia suspended all direct passenger flights from India for the next three weeks due to the unprecedented spike in COVID-19 cases. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The suspension will continue till May 15 after which the situation will be reassessed. There are about 9,000 Australians currently in India waiting to return home.