IPL 2021: Do your homework while signing up for T20 leagues – ACA Chief to Australian players

Many Australian players who are centrally contracted with Cricket Australia, were among the ones who were playing IPL in India amid exponentially growing COVID-19 cases.

Todd Greenberg, Chief Executive of the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) has sent a loud and clear message to Australian players that when they are signing up for any overseas T20 league of the world, then do consider the risks it brings along with it. Especially in the wake of COVID-19.

The situation arose because of two major reasons. 1- Growing COVID-19 numbers in India and multiple COVID-19 break out in four IPL teams. 2- Australia banning any travel from India until May 15th.

CSK’s batting coach Michael Hussey contracted the virus on Tuesday. Rajasthan’s Andrew Tye got one on the last flight to Australia. RCB’s Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson pulled out midway of IPL before the Australian ban. RCB’s Josh Philipe, SRH’s Mitchell Marsh, CSK’s Josh Hazlewood withdrew before IPL started citing bio-bubble fatigue as the reason. Paul Reiffel, Australian cricketer turned umpire, wasn’t that lucky as Andrew Tye, was stuck in India as Australia closed its borders. KKR’s Pat Cummins said Australian players stuck on Indian shores are feeling anxious after the travel ban.

So, with many of the Australians facing issues after IPL suspension, they will be traveling to the Maldives and then head home, with the Australian government giving no leeway.

To avoid such hassles in future and safeguard players from these situations, Greenberg cautioned players to consider the risks of playing T20 leagues of the world while signing up for it.

“I’m not sure it will create reticence, but it will ensure players do their due diligence before they sign agreements,” Greenberg said. “The world is literally changing before our eyes particularly with COVID and on that side of the world, obviously, those cases are going up exponentially.

“We’re enjoying our freedoms here in Australia. It is a very different place over there. If anything it sends a message to players about making sure you do your homework before making any decisions.”

Greenberg told players should learn from this experience.

“I was at pains to point it out during the week, the public will see our best Australian cricketers as almost superheroes, they’re brilliant athletes, great cricketers, but they’re human beings, some of them are fathers and husbands and they’re under enormous amounts of stress,” Greenberg, said. “Some deal with it differently. This will probably be an experience they will never forget.

“We will help them when they come home. Some will cope with it really well, others will need support and counseling and that’s what we’ll do.”

“They signed up with their eyes wide open about some of the challenges and risks when they went in. What they didn’t expect were the borders to be closed. That created anxiety for them, just like it would create anxiety for the 9,000-odd Australians over there looking to come home. That’s a normal reaction for our players.”

Nick Hockley, interim CA Chief Executive told bringing players back home safely would be their first priority among others.

“It’s obviously been a lot of uncertainty and a pretty stressful time for them,” said Nick Hockley, the interim CA Chief Executive. “Between us and the ACA, we’ve been working to put as much support as we possibly can around them and their welfare is our absolute number one priority.

“So I think that in the first instance, the absolute priority is to get them home safe and well, and then we’ll think about upcoming overseas tours.”

He added that IPL did whatever it can.

“The IPL, they put so much work, so much effort into putting on the tournament. They obviously did that on the best available information at the time and they’ve come to the decision over the last 24 hours that it’s in the interests of the health and safety of everyone to suspend the tournament.”

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