After multiple cricketers backing off from IPL 2021 due to the outbreak of COVID-19 second wave in India, now the umpires are also pulling out.
Nitin Menon and Paul Reiffel are reportedly pulled out of IPL amid unprecedented cases of COVID-19 in India. Menon flew to Indore as his mother and wife tested positive and Reiffel went back a few days ago after the Australian government banned flights from India till May 15.
A BCCI official told, “Nitin has a small child to look after as his mother and wife have tested positive while Reiffel informed BCCI that he fears not being able to go home due to the Australian government’s decision banning all flights from India. The BCCI already had several local umpires as a backup so they will be officiating in games in which Menon and Reiffel were scheduled to stand.”
A few days ago Ravichandran Ashwin pulled himself out of IPL. Earlier, Aussies Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa did the same. MI opening batsman Chris Lynn had asked for a charter plane to go back to Australia but Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison denied any preferential treatment towards the players playing in IPL.
However, BCCI’s interim chief executive officer Hemang Amin assured that they will arrange smooth transport back home once the tournament gets over. He told, “The BCCI is monitoring the situation very closely and is working with the government authorities to make arrangements to get you home once the tournament concludes. Be rest assured that the tournament is not over for BCCI till each one of you has reached your home, safe and sound.”
But the panic among the players are increasing day by day. Some suggested to hault the tournament as well. But nothing was entertained by the official till now.