Australian Cricketers’ Association boss Todd Greenberg says the breach of the IPL’s biosecurity bubble made it only a matter of time before an Australian tested positive to COVID-19.
Retired great Mike Hussey, who is a batting coach for the Chennai Super Kings, has reportedly contracted the virus.
The Times of India reports Hussey has become the first Australian in the IPL bubble to test positive.
“Hussey was tested and his sample came positive. We sent it for retesting but that has also come positive,” an IPL source told the publication
Speaking to Radio 2GB, Greenberg said he’s yet to get confirmation from Hussey himself.
“There’s a number of mixed messages coming out of India, I haven’t had a chance yet to talk to Mike personally, but they’ll be up in a few hours over in India so we’ll get some clarity on that as soon as we can,” he said.
“It’s probably not an enormous shock (that) one of our guys was ultimately going to find a positive test once the biosecurity bubble was breached, and ultimately that’s why the IPL tournament has now been postponed.
“We’re going to try and put as much care around all of our players and staff that we have over there, and clearly (with) that information overnight from Mike, we’ll need to reach out to him very quickly, as soon as he wakes up.”
The IPL was suspended on Tuesday night after several players tested positive.
The Kolkata Knight Riders were placed in isolation after players Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier caught the virus, along with three staff members from the Super Kings.
The decision to suspend the competition was made when Sunrisers Hyderabad wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha — a teammate of David Warner — also contracted the virus.
“Once the bio-security bubble was breached, it obviously had huge concerns for the ongoing viability of the tournament, so the BCCI have probably made the only decision they could make,” Greenberg said.
There are currently more than 30 Australian players, commentators, umpires and coaching staff in India, including leading players Steve Smith, Pat Cummins and David Warner.
Australians now face an uncertain wait to return home with the Federal Government suspending all travel from India until at least the middle of the month.
“Now we’re working closely with Cricket Australia, our government (and) the Indian officials, we’re obviously in dialogue with our players and we’ll find them a passage home,” Greenberg explained.
“That will be a two-step process obviously, given there are no flights back into our country, they’ve been suspended until May 15, so there’ll be a destination first, and then ultimately a home passage back to Australia at the right time.”
The Prime Minister announced last week that players and coaches in India would not be given special treatment.
“They’ve travelled there privately under their own arrangements. This wasn’t part of an Australian tour,” Mr Morrison said.
“And they’re under their own resources and they’ll be using those resources, I’m sure, to see them return to Australia in accordance with our own arrangements.”
Cricket Australia has already confirmed it will not seek special treatment for returning players and staff.
Former Australian batsman Michael Slater launched a furious tirade at the Prime Minister on Monday night, after leaving India for the Maldives.
“If our Government cared for the safety of Aussies they would allow us to get home. It’s a disgrace!” he tweeted.
“Blood on your hands PM. How dare you treat us like this. How about you sort out quarantine system.
“I had government permission to work on the IPL but I now have government neglect.”
Greenberg said the other Australians in India are likely to follow a similar path home.
“Michael Slater’s probably enjoying his time in the Maldives, so he might have some company, we’ve just got to make sure they’re well looked after,” he explained.
“They’re no different to the 9000 other Australians who are in India, who are no doubt all trying to figure out their path home. We’ve got close to 40 Australian cricketers, some past and present, some working in media and staffing roles, and we want to make sure we take good care of them and get them home safely.”
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