Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson have become the first Australians to leave the Indian Premier League as India’s COVID-19 crisis reaches unprecedented levels.
Tye was hastily flown out of India on Sunday night after requesting a release from the Rajasthan Royals on personal grounds. On Monday, Royal Challengers Bangalore announced that leg-spinner Zampa and paceman Richardson had been given permission to return home for personal reasons.
Meanwhile, Australia’s Test vice-captain Pat Cummins is staying put – for now – and has donated $50,000 to go towards more oxygen supplies for India’s under-pressure hospitals. The star fast bowler encouraged other IPL cricketers to help out in India’s desperate fight against coronavirus.
“At times like this it is easy to feel helpless. I’ve certainly felt that of late,” Cummins wrote on social media. “But I hope by making this public appeal we can all channel our emotions into action that will bring light into people’s lives. I know my donation isn’t much in the grand scheme of things, but I hope it will make a difference to someone.”
It’s understood Tye’s decision had more to do with bubble fatigue, after having lived in hubs virtually uninterrupted since Australia’s trip to England last August.
However, the IPL withdrawals come amid growing unease, with the Australian government – having already reduced passenger numbers from India – reportedly set to discuss a temporary ban on all repatriation flights from the country on Tuesday.
More than a million people have been diagnosed with the virus in India in the past three days, while Australia has restricted incoming passenger numbers. The IPL is continuing in a COVID-safe bubble, but Australian Daniel Sams caught the virus on arrival in India.