Eight of England’s 11 Indian Premier League players returned to Heathrow this morning and are beginning a 10-day hotel quarantine, the England and Wales Cricket Board has announced.
As soon as the competition was suspended, with coronavirus surging through the population and three separate franchises reporting positive cases inside their bubbles, there was a scramble to access flights back to London.
Jos Buttler was among the eight English players to return to the UK from India this morning
But World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan (L) and Dawid Malan remain in India for now
English bowler Chris Woakes is back in the UK after the IPL’s suspension on Tuesday
Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Moeen Ali and Sam and Tom Curran were all successful in securing bookings.
In contrast to the England players, Australia’s contingent of more than 30 are heading for the Maldives where they are set to remain for 14 days following their own government’s refusal to allow their own citizens to enter the country’s borders within a fortnight of being in India.
It is understood they will then have to quarantine for a further 14 days upon arrival once given the green light to return home.
The IPL was suspended indefinitely on Tuesday after a third team was affected by a Covid-19 outbreak.
Sunrisers Hyderabad wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha returned a positive test on Tuesday, prompting all fixtures to be suspended with immediate effect.
Sam Billings is also among the players who will now quarantine for 10 days back in the UK
Wriddhiman Saha of Sunrisers Hyderabad is the latest IPL player to test positive for Covid-19
They are the third team to be affected in the space of a few days after the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Chennai Super Kings.
With the Covid bio-bubble now breached in both Ahmedabad and Delhi, two of the venues hosting the Twenty20 tournament, the organisers took the decision to suspend matches.
It comes as India struggles to cope with the Covid-19 crisis as cases soared past 20 million and deaths approached 220,000 with the health system on the verge of collapse.
More to follow…