“NZ players anxious but none of them want to leave IPL”

The New Zealand Players Association (NZPA) chief Heath Mills on Tuesday confirmed that none of the cricketers from his country have expressed any desire to return home from the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 despite the worsening Covid-19 situation in India.

Several cricketers have withdrawn from the IPL 2021 citing personal reasons as coronavirus positive cases continue to soar in India.

Ravichandran Ashwin (Delhi Capitals), Andrew Tye (Rajasthan Royals), Liam Livingstone (Rajasthan Royals), Kane Richardson (Royal Challengers Bangalore) and Adam Zampa (Royal Challengers Bangalore) are the ones who have pulled out of the cash-rich tournament mid-way into the 14th edition.

But New Zealand players are satisfied with the safety protocols in the IPL 2021 bubble that have been put in place by by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the 8 franchises.

“There’s no doubt they’re certainly anxious about what is happening in India and what they’re witnessing. But they feel well looked after by their IPL franchises and very safe in their bubbles,” Mills was quoted as saying in stuff.co.nz.

“There are four teams in a hotel and the hotel is locked down. The challenge is when they transfer from city to city, then they need to put on the PPE gear and that’s when they’re probably most at risk. Whilst they’re anxious, they’re ok. No one has indicated yet that they want to go home,” he stated.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) also broke its silence on this issue saying that they are concerned about the English players’ safety in the IPL, and are offering “daily advice to those who seek it”.

“It is a delicate situation for the ECB, who are due to host both the India men’s and women’s teams this summer and are also desperate to recruit Indian players for their new Hundred competition, if not this season then next.

“But the governing body have a duty of care to their players, even if they are not all on full central contracts, and nervousness is clearly growing about the situation in what is now the world’s worst-affected country by Covid-19.

“We continue to monitor and work with the players on an individual basis. We are offering advice daily to those that seek it. Our thoughts are with the people of India during these difficult times,” an ECB spokesperson told Sportsmail.

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Rohit Pawar

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