Following the postponement of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League, Governing Council Chairman Brijesh Patel, on Tuesday, said the BCCI will "find a way" to send the league's foreign recruits back to their respective countries after the event was suspended indefinitely due to a COVID-19 outbreak in its bio-bubble. The suspension of the tournament was announced after Sunrisers Hyderabad's wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha tested positive for COVID-19 along with Delhi Capitals' veteran spinner Amit Mishra.
"We need to send them home and we will find a way to do that," Brijesh told PTI when asked how will the foreigners return home but did not elaborate beyond that. The foreigners involved in the lucrative league are concerned about returning to their respective countries due to travel restrictions imposed in the wake of a deadly resurgence of the pandemic in India. The BCCI had assured foreign players of a safe return earlier as well.
The IPL had 14 Australian players left, after three pullouts a few days ago, along with 10 from New Zealand and 11 Englishmen. South Africa had 11 players in the league, which also featured nine West Indians, three Afghans, and two from Bangladesh.
Reacting to the big BCCI move, Cricket South Africa (CSA) said it is in contact with its players who will need to home quarantine on arrival from India as per the World Health Organization recommendations.
"Those travelling back to South Africa will undergo home quarantine in line with the current World Health Organization recommendations. CSA and the South African Cricketers Association (SACA) are in contact with all players and are assured of their safety and comfort in their respective locations," CSA said in a release.
CSA said it supported the BCCI decision of suspending the league keeping in mind the current situation and thanked the Indian board for looking after its players.
"CSA supports the decision to put the health and safety interests of all involved in the tournament first and foremost and has made contact with all of the relevant franchises to ensure the expedited travel of all South African players and support staff back to our shores."
New Zealand Cricket expressed faith in BCCI's ability to handle the situation.
"The players are in a relatively safe environment and those within affected teams are in isolation," read an NZC statement posted by 'ESPNcricinfo'. We'll continue to liaise with the BCCI, the ECB and New Zealand government authorities in terms of managing their situation - but at this juncture, it's too early to discuss potential options."
(With inputs from PTI)