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IPL 2021 – Australia suspends flights from India; Chris Lynn hopes for post-IPL charter home

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Mumbai Indians opener also says they would be “getting vaccinated next week”

Mumbai Indians opener Chris Lynn has urged Cricket Australia (CA) to arrange for a chartered flight to bring Australians home at the conclusion of the ongoing IPL as the country temporarily halts arrivals from India.

Lynn was speaking before the latest update from the Australian government on Tuesday when the Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a ban on direct flights – both commercial and the government’s repatriation services – from India until May 15 and the use of connecting flights (for example via Doha or Dubai) into the country.

“I texted back that as Cricket Australia make 10% of every IPL contract, was there a chance we could spend that money this year on a charter flight once the tournament is over?” Lynn told News Corp media.

When asked specifically about the cricketers in India, Morrison said there would not be any preferential treatment if repatriation flights resumed later in May. The group stage of the IPL is due to finish on May 23 with the final on May 30.

“This wasn’t part of an Australian tour,” he said. “They’re under their own resources. And they’ll be using those resources to, I’m sure, to see them return to Australia in accordance with their own arrangements.”

It is understood that Cricket Australia are assessing the ramifications of today’s announcement but that the use of a charter flight is not yet the likely option. Although not directly involved in the players’ involvement at the IPL beyond issuing No Objection Certificates, CA and the Australian Cricketers’ Association have been in regular contact with them plus the Australian coaching staff, broadcasters and commentators working on the tournament.

While Andrew Tye became the first player from Australia to leave this IPL on Sunday fearing that he may not be able to return home later, his national team-mates Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa also opted out due to “personal reasons”. Earlier, England’s Liam Livingstone had left the tournament citing “bubble fatigue”, before India and Delhi Capitals’ offspinner R Ashwin also chose to sit out to be with his family.

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