New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Shortly after Australia announced that it is suspending the direct passenger flights from India in wake of the grim COVID-19 situation in the country, Indian Premier League (IPL) COO Hemang Amin has assured all players and support staff that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will ensure their smooth return to their respective countries at the end of the league.

This comes after reports of some foreign players being wary of the situation and how they will return to their respective countries at the end of the 14th edition of the cash-rich league emerged. In a letter to the players and support staff, Hemang addressed the apprehension and concerns of the cricketers. He said that the tournament isn't over for the BCCI till every player reaches home safely.

"We understand that many of you are apprehensive about how you will get back home once the tournament concludes, which is natural and understandable. We want to apprise you that you have nothing to worry about. The BCCI will do everything to ensure that you reach your respective destinations seamlessly. 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," he wrote.

"In order to allay any apprehensions and concerns, we are further strengthening our bio-secure environments to keep everyone involved in the tournament safe and healthy. Recently, we increased testing in our bio-bubbles to be extra vigilant. Instead of the stipulated test every five days, we now conduct a test every two days", the letter further reads.

"Further, earlier in the tournament, we had permitted food deliveries from outside your designated hotels, but these privileges have also been withdrawn. Apart from this, we have also increased our level of caution to strengthen our bio-bubbles. I am sure you will understand and co-operate with us on these steps taken to strengthen the bubble. The health and safety of our players, support staff, management and everyone involved in IPL 2021 is of paramount importance and we will leave no stone unturned in that endeavor," it added.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier in the day said the Australian cricketers taking part in the ongoing IPL 2021 will have to arrange flights "under their own resources" if direct flights from India to Australia remain suspended when the tournament gets over on May 30. Morrison said since the cricketers have not travelled as a part of an Australian tour, he sees them returning to Australia using their own arrangements.

Meanwhile, three Australians also quit the event amid an upsurge of COVID-19 cases in India. Andrew Tye (Rajasthan Royals) and the duo of Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa (both Royal Challengers Bangalore) withdrew as apprehension set in after a couple of weeks went by smoothly for the league held in front of empty stands across six venues.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan