Aussie IPL cricketers flee India for Maldives but top Kiwis remain
Australian cricketers fled Covid-ravaged India for the Maldives Thursday, but New Zealand's top stars are stuck in Delhi until May 11, the earliest they can secure exemptions to enter England where they are due to play a Test series.
Cricket authorities have been rushing to evacuate players and support staff after the lucrative Indian Premier League was abandoned this week. India reported 3,980 deaths and more than 412,000 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours.
While most overseas-based players headed home, the Australians, including Steve Smith, David Warner and Pat Cummins, are unable to do so after Canberra slammed shut its borders and threatened anyone entering from India with jail time.
They must wait until at least May 15, when the travel ban will be reviewed.
In the meantime, the 37 players, coaches, officials and TV commentators left for the Maldives, reportedly on a charter flight arranged and paid for by the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
"Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association can confirm Australian players, coaches, match officials and commentators have been safely transported from India and are en route to the Maldives," CA said in a statement.
"The Australians will remain in the Maldives until the conclusion of the travel pause pertaining to flights from India to Australia."
They are likely to be chartered back to Australia once the ban has been lifted, again with the help of the BCCI.