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IPL 2021 – Rajasthan Royals’

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ESPNcricinfo understands that two other Australian cricketers have told their franchise that they want to go home

Andrew Tye, the Rajasthan Royals fast bowler, flew back home to Australia on Sunday citing “personal reasons”, his exit coming even as India battles a severe wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, with over a million positive cases recorded in the past four days.

Although both the BCCI and franchises have stressed that the IPL is secure because it’s being organised in a bio-secure environment without crowds, ESPNcricinfo understands that some players, especially the overseas lot, are anxious about the situation, which Ricky Ponting, the Delhi Capitals coach, has called “quite grim”.

At least two other Australian players have informed their franchise as of Sunday morning that they would look to return home at the first opportunity, in terms of flight availability. Part of the reason is also the tightening of quarantine norms back home in Australia. The franchise concerned is yet to respond to our query on the matter.

David Hussey, an assistant coach with the Kolkata Knight Riders, opened up on the subject to the Sydney Morning Herald. “Everyone’s sort of a bit nervous about whether they can get back into Australia. I dare say there’ll be a few other Australians a bit nervous about getting back into Australia,” he said.

New about Tye’s departure was announced by the Royals on Sunday, but the franchise did not elaborate on the details, only saying that they would “offer any support” Tye needed. Tye is the second Royals player to leave the IPL for home after Englishman Liam Livingstone went back last week. Livingstone had cited “bubble fatigue” as the reason, just days before the UK announced it was putting India on the red list of countries barring inbound passengers from the country except locals who would need to quarantine at paid facilities.

Tye had been retained by the Royals, but didn’t play in any of the Royals’ first five games of the ongoing season.

With inputs from Raunak Kapoor

Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo



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Newlands ball-tampering scandal – Cameron Bancroft contacted by Cricket Australia integrity unit

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The problem CA has is they have tried to sweep it under the carpet and not come out with the full story, says Michael Clarke

Cricket Australia’s integrity unit has contacted Cameron Bancroft to ask whether he has anything to add to his recent comments suggesting wider knowledge of the 2018 Newlands ball-tampering plot.

Ben Oliver, Cricket Australia’s head of national teams, confirmed on Monday that the integrity unit, which is currently headed by Rebecca Murray, had reached out to Bancroft to see if he was willing to speak further about the affair that led to him being banned for nine months, while Steven Smith and David Warner were both suspended for a year.



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Eng vs NZ 2021 – Majority of New Zealand Test contingent arrives in UK

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Neil Wagner says the side will not treat the two Tests against England as warm-ups for the World Test Championship final

The majority of the New Zealand Test contingent landed in London on Sunday after flying from Auckland via Singapore, for their tour of two Tests against the hosts and the World Test Championship final against India next month. The players and support staff were transferred from the London airport to the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, their base for the first two weeks of the tour.

An NZC release stated the squad is “adhering to strict health protocols”, starting with pre-departure vaccinations and Covid-19 tests, in the wake of the pandemic.

“While in England, they will operate in a ‘controlled team environment’ to limit outside contact and risk of transmission,” the release said. “All tour members will complete a daily self-reported health screening as well as undergoing regular Covid testing.”



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Marnus Labuschagne to miss white-ball tour of the West Indies

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Australian batter “deeply upset to miss out due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control,” says Trevor Hohns

Marnus Labuschagne is missing from the Australia limited-overs squad for a tour of the West Indies starting next month, after it was decided he would play out his current county stint with Glamorgan instead.

A vast preliminary squad for the tour – which may still theoretically be followed by a trip to Bangladesh for more white-ball matches – includes the likes of Matthew Wade, D’Arcy Short, Marcus Stoinis and Mitchell Swepson, all of whom missed out on Cricket Australia contracts in the annual list.



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