Australian IPL stars hoping to return soon

Mike Hussey is still awaiting for his COVID test results before being able to fly out of India.
Mike Hussey is still awaiting for his COVID test results before being able to fly out of India.

Australia's Indian Premier League contingent could return home in coming days, with cricket administrators hopeful of getting the green light from Prime Minister Scott Morrison's government.

The majority of the 38-strong group of IPL players, coaches and commentators are still in the Maldives, having departed India last Thursday on a charter flight.

Mike Hussey, who remained in India to self-isolate after testing positive for COVID-19, is the exception.

Hussey, as of Friday morning, was still awaiting the negative test result that would allow him to link up with compatriots in the Maldives.

Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) are upbeat that Hussey will be able to fly home alongside the likes of Pat Cummins and Steve Smith, but that will depend on his health and indeed the federal government.

CA and the ACA, awaiting guidance from the federal government regarding its Indian travel ban, are hoping to have an itinerary rubber stamped soon.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is overseeing and funding arrangements for Australians involved in the IPL, living up to its pledge to ensure everybody involved returns home safely.

The IPL contingent is expected to board a charter flight out of the Maldives, potentially as early as this weekend, then land in Sydney and enter NSW's hotel-quarantine system.

Unlike last year when Australia and India's national cricket squads were granted permission by the NSW government to leave their hotel and train while quarantining, there will be no special concessions.

"The absolute priority is to get them home safe and well," CA interim chief executive Nick Hockley told reporters last week.

"We are not seeking any kind of special exemptions whatsoever.

"We will work with the Australian government and the relevant state governments to make sure we're not taking spaces of anyone else ... that is what we're committed to doing."

The recently-introduced Indian travel ban dictated that Australians must spend a fortnight outside the coronavirus-ravaged nation before returning, otherwise they risked fines and jail time.

Morrison announced last week the 'pause' would end on May 15, allowing the resumption of repatriation flights, but opted against making a call on commercial flights.

Australian Associated Press