IPL 2021: With the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League postponed, players have been heading home. But unfortunately for someone like Chennai Super Kings batting coach Michael Hussey, he will have to wait for a COVID-19 negative result before he can leave the country. And this is why the franchise has flown him from Delhi to Chennai in an air ambulance. Speaking to ANI, a senior CSK official said that both Hussey and bowling coach L Balaji were flown into Chennai to ensure better control over the situation. The official went on to confirm that skipper MS Dhoni will be leaving for Ranchi in the afternoon.
“See, we have better contacts in Chennai, so it was decided to fly both Hussey and Balaji into Chennai in an air ambulance to ensure that if the need arises, we have the facilities ready. Fortunately, they have no symptoms and both are doing fine. But yes, Hussey has to wait to get a negative report before he can leave India. We will arrange a charter when he is safe to fly,” the official explained.
“As for MS, he is heading home in the afternoon in a charter we have arranged which will be a hopping flight. It will head from Delhi to Ranchi and from there to Hyderabad. MS was clear that he wanted to wait till everyone left and only then he would leave the bubble we created in Delhi.”
Asked about the rest of the foreign players, the official said that charters have been arranged and there is no question of keeping them waiting. “The safety of the players is a priority and we planned charter planes for all of them. We want them safe and home as soon as possible.”
In fact, the safety of every individual involved in the IPL was one of the major reasons for the BCCI and the IPL Governing Council to unanimously decide on the postponement of the league on Tuesday.
“The BCCI and the IPL GC have unanimously decided to postpone the 2021 season till further notice. We don’t wish to compromise the safety of the players, the people involved, the employees, the groundsmen, the match officials, every single person involved,” Jay Shah told ANI.
On Tuesday, SunRisers Hyderabad wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha tested positive after there were COVID-19 cases in two franchises on Monday. While two of the members of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) contingent tested positive, two Kolkata Knight Riders players tested positive — Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier — forcing the BCCI to postpone the KKR-RCB game in Ahmedabad.
With Saha testing positive, the game on Tuesday evening between SRH and defending champions Mumbai Indians also needed to be postponed. This made matters worse as the game between RCB and KKR had already been postponed and the game between CSK and Rajasthan Royals was also set to be called off as the Chennai unit was in strict quarantine. This finally saw the BCCI postpone the IPL