England players face battle to return from India amid Covid and IPL ‘chaos’

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English cricketers in India for the Indian Premier League described ‘chaos’ as the competition was scrapped on Tuesday as the country suffers a terrible coronavirus outbreak which has now erupted through the ‘bio-bubbles’ of several teams .

With IPL action over for the foreseeable future – there is talk of a resumption, possibly in September, although such a move would leave an already busy international schedule in disarray – England’s 11 players with IPL squads, plus a number of coaches and support staff, now face a battle to get home.

Brijesh Patel, the president of the IPL, said of the foreign players in the tournament that “we have to send them home and we will find a way to do it”. As the situation unfolded on Tuesday, one player said he had ‘no idea what was going on’, while others hoped to be back in Britain in just over 24 hours after the event. ‘abandonment.

The situation of the English cohort of the tournament does not seem as complicated as that of the representatives of some other nations: there are no direct flights between India and Australia, for example, while there is a daily commercial service between London and Mumbai and Delhi. .

The return of the players to the house will nevertheless be far from easy. With the coronavirus outbreak spiraling out of control, India was added to the UK government’s ‘red list’ of countries from which most travel to the UK is banned on April 19, and all UK nationals returning to the country from India are required to self-quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days. The Department of Transport has confirmed that there will be no exemptions for returning cricketers.

Players will need to run multiple tests both before leaving India and after arriving in the UK, and unlike some athletes, they will not be allowed to leave their hotels for training.

A number of specific sporting events, from the British Formula 1 Grand Prix to the Ping Pong World Championship, have negotiated a special waiver to allow competitors to train or compete during their quarantine.

International cricket of all three formats is on the list, along with the T20 Blast and the Rachel Heyhoe Flint Trophy, but the County Championship is not.

His omission has already affected Australian bowler from Derbyshire Billy Stanlake, who is yet to make his county debut. “If he played Twenty20 tomorrow he would be eligible, but since it’s four day cricket he needs to be quarantined,” Derbyshire cricket manager Dave Houghton said last week.

An ECB spokesperson said on Tuesday he was working to help bring the players home. “Following the postponement of the Indian Premier League, we are in close contact with our players and staff in India as arrangements are made for them to return home safely.

“The ECB understands the BCCI’s decision to postpone the competition for the safety and well-being of those involved, and thanks the BCCI for its commitment to do everything in its power to ensure the safe and secure passage of all contest participants. Our thoughts are with the Indian people in these difficult times. “

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