We are grateful to BCCI, says Hockey on Australian players' return

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Melbourne, May 17 (PTI) Cricket Australia's interim chief executive Nick Hockley on Monday said he was 'grateful' to the BCCI for ensuring a 'safe and quick' return of Australia's IPL contingent from India following a stopover in Maldives.

Australian players, including Pat Cummins, David Warner and Steve Smith, arrived in Sydney almost two weeks after the T20 league was indefinitely suspended following a breach in its COVID-19 bio-security bubble.

'We are delighted. We're really grateful to the BCCI for getting them home quickly and safely. I haven't spoken to them since they've landed, but obviously we've been in text exchange and I'm sure they'll be very relieved and very appreciative to be home,' Hockey was quoted as saying in Sydney Morning Herald.

A group of 38 Australians, including 14 players, had left for Maldives on May 6 after the suspension of IPL 2021 as their government had banned flights from India till May 15 in the wake of unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases there.

Besides the players, the arriving group included support staff and commentators, who were all flown out of India to the Maldives via chartered planes after the IPL's suspension.

The Australia cricketers, support staff and commentators will undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine across hotels in Sydney before leaving for their respective destinations.

The IPL was suspended 29 matches into the season.

Chennai Super Kings' batting coach Michael Hussey also headed home on Sunday via Doha after testing negative for COVID-19 on Friday. He had tested positive for the virus on May 4 and was brought to Chennai from Delhi in an air ambulance. PTI AH AH KHS KHS

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