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IPL 2021 – Australian players set for exodus to Maldives after postponement of IPL

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There are close to 40 Australians in the IPL bubble comprising players, coaching staff and commentators

A mass exodus of Australian players, coaches and support staff to the Maldives is the expected remedy to a dilemma created by the postponement of the 2021 IPL and the current closure of the Australian border to citizens currently in India during its rampant Covid-19 outbreak. There are close to 40 Australians in the IPL bubble comprising players, coaching staff and commentators.

The likes of Pat Cummins, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Ricky Ponting, Simon Katich and company are expected to join the commentator Michael Slater, who had already headed to the Maldives as a temporary post in the wake of blanket bans on entry to Australian citizens who have recently been in India, a state of play that will exist until at least May 15.

The exceptions will be the likes of allrounder Dan Christian, who has a deal to play in the UK later this year. But the UK is currently allowing only its citizens and residents to fly in from India, so it remains to be seen what route he will take as Dubai – often a stopover between India and the UK – is not allowing flights from India either.



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Travis Head – Australia selectors have been ‘ultra-clear’ about Test role

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Sussex overseas signing yet to speak to Justin Langer since central contract omission

Travis Head is yet to speak to Justin Langer after his surprise omission from Australia’s central contracts list two weeks ago, but says that the channel of communication with selectors Trevor Hohns and George Bailey has been “ultra-clear” regarding his standing within the national squads.

Head was dropped two Tests into Australia’s home series defeat to India, but finished the Sheffield Shield season as the competition’s second-highest run-scorer and had been named in the squad for the aborted tour to South Africa. With a respectable average of 39.75 after 19 Tests, he remains in contention for the 2021-22 Ashes series, and hopes to prove his worth during a season-long stint playing county cricket for Sussex, with his debut likely to arrive on Thursday against Northamptonshire.

“It was disappointing not to be on there, but from the standpoint of where we need to be and what Australian cricket wants and expects, they want guys contributing in international cricket and winning games for Australia,” Head said. “When I had my opportunity, I wasn’t able to do that. It was great to go home and play really well in domestic cricket but at the end of the day, when I get my opportunity, I need to be able to take that in international cricket.



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IPL 2021 – Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Wriddhiman Saha tests positive for Covid-19

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He trained with the Sunrisers on May 1, the same day he reported a fever

Wriddhiman Saha has tested positive for Covid-19, meaning the Sunrisers Hyderabad became the third franchise to register positive cases at IPL 2021. The team was due to play the Mumbai Indians in Delhi on Tuesday but the IPL has been postponed following the surfacing of Covid-19 cases at least three franchises over the last few days.

ESPNcricinfo understands that Saha reported symptoms, including a fever, on May 1, the day before the Sunrisers played against the Rajasthan Royals in Delhi, an afternoon match. Saha had trained with the rest of the Sunrisers squad on the afternoon of May 1. Following that training session, Saha felt he might have got a heat stroke and had even got tested for Covid-19 on the same day. The result of that test was negative, but he still reported a fever.



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Covid-19 in Pakistan – Franchises write to PCB asking for PSL 2021 to be moved from Karachi to UAE

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There has been a fresh surge in Covid-19 cases in Pakistan, and a partial lockdown is already in place in the country

All six Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchises have asked the PCB to move the remaining games of the rescheduled 2021 edition of the tournament out of Karachi to the UAE because of a fresh surge in Covid-19 cases in Pakistan. A letter from the franchises was sent to the board last week, and the board is believed to be considering the request and reviewing current plans.

As it stands, the plan is for the teams to assemble in Karachi by May 23 to begin their mandatory seven-day quarantine, and action is scheduled to resume on June 2. Sixteen league-stage matches are slotted till June 14, with the playoffs taking place between June 16 and June 18, and the final on June 20.



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