UPDATED: May 3, 2021 20:00 IST
Former Australia cricketer and commentator, Michael Slater on Monday launched a scathing attack at Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison over the government’s decision to ban the return of its citizens from India, which has been badly hit by the 2nd wave of Covid-19 pandemic.
Michael Slater took to social media and slammed the travel ban, calling it a disgrace, adding that he had government permission to do broadcast duties in the IPL but faces “government neglect” now.
Australia has shut its borders, not allowing any commercial flights from India due to the Covid-19 crisis. The ban will be in place till May 15. Several commentators, including Slater and Brett Lee, and players are part of IPL 2021 in India. The government also threatened a 5-year jail term of a hefty fine for its citizens if they enter Australia after having been in India within their last 14 days of their arrival. The decision was announced on Friday after a meeting of the National Cabinet in a bid to keep the Covid-19 surge in Australia under check.
The likes of Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa and Andre Tye left India before the ban was announced but still, 14 players are part of the IPL in India along with quite a few commentators from Australia.
“If our Government cared for the safety of Aussies they would allow us to get home. It’s a disgrace!! Blood on your hand’s PM. How dare you treat us like this. How about you sort out the quarantine system. I had government permission to work on the IPL but I now have government neglect,” Slater said in a social media post.
“And for those who think this is a money exercise. Well, forget it. This is what I do for a living and I have not made a penny having left early. So please stop the abuse and think of the thousands dying in India each day. It’s called empathy. If only our government had some!” he added.
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia chief Nick Hockley on Monday said that the board currently has no plans to arrange charter flights and bring back its players from India.
Hockley asserted that Australian players are feeling safe and secure in the IPL bio-bubble but his comments came before the postponement of the 30th match of the season between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Notably, two KKR players — Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier have tested positive for Covid-19 while the remaining players and staff have isolated themselves in their hotel rooms.