Sydney: Amid hugs, tears of joy and relief, Australia’s jumbo IPL contingent comprising players, support staff and commentators reunited Monday with their family members. They did so after serving a 14-day hotel quarantine here. The 38-member Australians landed here two weeks ago after a stopover in Maldives. They had to take the stopover due to travel ban from Covid-ravaged India.
The highlight of the day was premier fast bowler Pat Cummins exiting the hotel and reuniting with his pregnant partner Becky Boston. The video of the reunion was uploaded on Twitter by well-known Australian sports journalist Chloe-Amanda Bailey.
“Video of the day! After eight weeks away for the IPL, Pat Cummins finally leaves hotel quarantine and reunites with his pregnant partner Becky. All the feels!” Bailey tweeted alongside the video.
Besides Cummins, batting maestro Steve Smith, big-hitting all-rounder Glenn Maxwell and the swashbuckling opener Dave Warner were among those who finally embraced their loved ones after nearly eight weeks away from home.
Most of them had not seen their families since heading into the Indian Premier League in early April. They were flown home via a charter flight after the IPL was postponed owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The lucrative league will now resume in the UAE in the middle of September. However, a number of Australians including Cummins have said that they will not be part of the IPL for the remainder of the edition.
Cricket Australia’s (CA) newly-appointed chief executive officer Nick Hockley said the feeling among the players about going home to be with their families could not be understated.
“We’ve been texting, and I’ve spoken to a couple of the broader group, not just the players but there are commentators, match officials and physios,” Hockley said. “They are clearly quite shaken from the experience, very appreciative to be home back here in Australia,” he added.
The BCCI paid for the charter flights and accommodation of the Australians in the Maldives and Sydney. Hockley thanked the Indian board for the manner in which it helped them after the abrupt suspension of the IPL owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I would reiterate that the BCCI has been absolutely fantastic in supporting the playing group and the entire group in terms of getting home safely and we’re very grateful for that,” Hockley said.