After four cricketers opted out of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, now umpires Nitin Menon and Paul Reiffel have pulled out of the lucrative league as well. Both have different reasons – while the Indian umpire took the decision because his parents have contracted the novel coronavirus, Reiffel has flown back fearing a lockout after the Australian government suspended all flights from India due to the Covid surge in the country.
“Nitin has a small child to look after as his mother and wife have tested positive while Reiffel informed BCCI that he fears not being able to go home due to the Australian government’s decision banning all flights from India. The BCCI already had several local umpires as backup so they will be officiating in games in which Menon and Reiffel were scheduled to stand,” a BCCI official was quoted as saying by Indian Express.
“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 an email, the report added.
Earlier, cricketers also took the same route. Ravichandran Ashwin, Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa and Liam Livingstone have already pulled out of the T20 league.
Despite the second wave being a threat to the ongoing IPL as cases in the country are on the rise, the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) has said that the tournament will continue and has assured the players that they are safe in the bio-bubble.