IPL 2021 suspended: Australian players and staff stranded in India, will be jailed if they go back home, here’s why

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday suspended the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021), a decision taken after a number of COVID-19 cases emerged in the bio-bubble.

Meanwhile, the decision has left Australian players and staff members in a fix as they can’t travel back to their country due to the travel ban which was announced by their government.

Threatening a five-year jail term or hefty fine, the Australian government has recently temporarily barred its citizens from entering the country if they happened to be in India within 14 days of their intended arrival.

The restrictions came into effect from May 3 and breaching the ban risks civil penalties and up to five years imprisonment, Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement.

Hence, the verdict means that the Australian contingent which was part of IPL 2021 might be jailed for five years or will have to pay a hefty fine if they return home before May 15.

Moreover, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had last week announced a ban on passenger flights from India till May 15 and also said that there would be no special privileges given to the Australian players in India.

Commenting on the same, Cricket Australia said it will not seek an exemption on the travel ban and thanked BCCI for their efforts to ensure the safety of all participants at the IPL.

“CA and the ACA respect the decision of the Australian Government to pause travel from India until at least May 15 and will not seek exemptions,” a joint statement from Cricket Australia (CA) and ACA read.

However, Cricket Australia said that it is in direct contact with the BCCI to ensure safe accommodation and repatriation of the Australian contingent.

“Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association understand the decision of the BCCI to indefinitely postpone the 2021 Indian Premier League for the safety and wellbeing of all participants,” the statement read.

“CA is in direct contact with the BCCI as they work through plans to ensure the safe accommodation and repatriation of Australian players, coaches, match officials, and commentators back home to Australia,” it added.

“CA and the ACA thank the BCCI for their efforts and cooperation for the safe repatriation of all participants at the IPL.”

Earlier, the BCCI said that it will do everything in its power to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021.

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Sagar Biswas

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