IPL stars, Cricket Aust await govt update

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan says it was unnecessary and galling for cricketer stars and other Australians to travel to India.

ADAM ZAMPA .
ADAM ZAMPA . Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan says it is "galling" that Australians, including Indian Premier League superstars, travelled to India given the nation's COVID-19 cases.

A deadly second wave of coronavirus infections is decimating India, where the army has been called in to help overwhelmed hospitals.

Australia's National Security Committee is meeting on Tuesday, when the federal government is expected to consider a ban on incoming flights from India.

Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson and Andrew Tye have cut short their IPL stints, wanting to return to Australia while it was still viable to do so via a commercial flight.

Other Australian cricketers involved in the IPL may need to rely on a charter flight and government clearance to fly home, depending on the extent of potential future restrictions.

"We are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, India is the epicentre of death and destruction as we speak. And I don't think there is any need to go to India," Mr McGowan told reporters.

"There is huge pressure now on all our quarantine facilities as a result of people coming from India.

"What makes it more galling is people have gone over there, over the course of the last few months.

"For weddings or funerals or to play sport or whatever other purpose, and I don't think that was necessary."

Mr McGowan, asked about the prospect of Cricket Australia (CA) chartering a flight for its IPL contingent to fly home, noted it was a "matter for the Commonwealth government".

"You have purpose-built quarantine facilities in remote locations with an airstrip," he said, offering Christmas Island as an example.

"I just urge the Commonwealth government to take action and make sure they use the facilities that were made available."

CA, among many institutions awaiting the government's guidance, is in regular dialogue with its IPL players.

There are countless complicating factors for the governing body to navigate, even before the clout of India's cricket board is taken into account.

Opinion is believed to be mixed among Australian players, coaches, umpires and broadcast staff involved in the lucrative Twenty20 tournament.

Some are content to stay on and finish the tournament, which is slated to run until the end of May, because they feel the IPL's biosecurity bubble is working as a shield from India's escalating health crisis.

Others were already intending to travel elsewhere after the T20 event.