Threatening a five-year jail term or hefty fine, the Australian government temporarily barred its citizens from entering the country if they happened to be in India within 14 days of their intended arrival.
The verdict also means that Steve Smith, David Warner, Glen Maxwell, Pat Cummins and other Australians who are part of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) might be jailed for five years or will have to pay a hefty fine if they return home in the current scenario.
Notably, 14 Australian cricketers are currently playing in IPL 2021 and many Australians like Ricky Ponting, David Hussey, Brett Lee, and Matthew Hayden among others are also part of various IPL franchises’ coaching/support staff and TV commentary team.
Meanwhile, the emergency determination, made late on Friday, is part of strict measures to stop travellers to Australia from the world’s second most populous nation as it contends with a surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths. The decision was based on the proportion of overseas travellers in quarantine in Australia, who have contracted the infection in India, according to Health Minister Greg Hunt.
The restrictions come into effect from May 3 and breaching the ban risks civil penalties and up to five years imprisonment, Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement.
“Failure to comply with an emergency determination under the Biosecurity Act, 2015 may incur a civil penalty of 300 penalty units, five years’ imprisonment or both,” an official statement from the ministry said. “The CMO will consider the epidemiology in India and likely impacts on Australia’s quarantine capacity, and provide a further expert assessment of the public health risk to Australia to inform a proportionate response,” it further read.
The Australian government will reconsider the restrictions on May 15, Hunt said.
Earlier, Australia, which has no community transmissions, introduced a temporary suspension of direct flights from India to prevent more virulent COVID-19 variants from entering the country.
However, Australian cricketers Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson returned to Australia via Doha.
The ABC reported that the cricketers landed in Australia from Doha on Thursday, despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison stating on Tuesday that indirect flights from India through Doha, Dubai, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur had already “been paused by the respective governments”.
The Prime Minister said the loophole have been closed and foreshadowed more extreme measures earlier on Friday morning in an interview on 2GB radio.
“It was [a loophole] that became apparent to us on Wednesday and it was closed off at about seven-o’clock Wednesday evening,” he said.
“That flight that those cricketers were on managed to get away just before that. We had information on Monday that that wasn’t possible.”
Also, Australian Prime Minister Morrison has previously said that since the players have gone to India privately for the IPL, they will have to ensure their return on their own.
Motorcyclist injured in road accident, succumbs
An 18-year-old motorcyclist, who was critically injured in a road accident in north Kashmir district of Bandipora on Thursday, succumbed in a hospital on Friday.
Official sources said that a motorcycle skidded off the road and collided with an electric pole near Lowdara crossing, resulting in injuries to the motorcyclist and his pillion mate on Thursday. “The injured were immediately taken to a hospital from where they were referred to S K Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura in a critical condition,” they said.
However, they said after battling for his life for several hours, one of the injured, identified as Asgar Ahmad Bhat, succumbed at SKIMS on Friday morning. After completing all the legal and medical formalities, the body of the deceased was handed over to his relatives for last rites.
Virat Kohli to step down as India’s T20 captain after World Cup
India skipper Virat Kohli has decided to step down from T20I captaincy after the ICC T20 World Cup in November this year.
Kohli explained his decision to leave the T20I captaincy in a statement on Twitter. The India skipper said he needs to give himself space in order to play all three formats for the country.
“I have been fortunate enough to not only represent India but also lead the Indian Cricket Team to my utmost capability. I thank everyone who has supported me in my journey as the Captain of the Indian Cricket Team,” Kohli said in a statement.
“I couldn’t have done it without them — the boys, the support staff, the selection committee, my coaches, and each and every Indian who prayed for us to win.
“Understanding workload is a very important thing and considering my immense workload over the last 8-9 years playing all 3 formats and captaining regularly for last 5-6 years, I feel I need to give myself space to be fully ready to lead the Indian Team in Test and ODI Cricket. I have given everything to the Team during my time as T20 Captain and I will continue to do so for the T20 Team as a batsman moving forward,” he added.
Kohli said he arrived at his decision after discussing with head coach Ravi Shastri and opening batsman Rohit Sharma.
“Of course, arriving at this decision took a lot of time. After a lot of contemplation and discussions with my close people, Ravi bhai and also Rohit, who have been an essential part of the leadership group, I’ve decided to step down as the T20 Captain after this T20 World Cup in Dubai in October,” said Kohli.
“I have also spoken to the secretary Mr Jay Shah and the President of BCCI Mr Sourav Ganguly along with all the selectors about the same. I will continue to serve Indian Cricket and the Indian Team to the best of my ability,” he added.
India and Pakistan will be locking horns on October 24 in a group-stage encounter in the T20 World Cup. The tournament will get underway from October 17, with the final to be played in Dubai on November 14.
New IPL team auction to take place on October 17
The bidding for the two new Indian Premier League teams is set to take place on October 17. Interestingly, while the last day for queries in regards to bidding for the teams is September 21, the bids can be picked till October 5.
Speaking to ANI, sources in the know of developments confirmed the same. “The bidding is set to take place on October 17 while queries regarding the same can be made till September 21,” the source said.
The Governing Council of the Indian Premier League (IPL) had on August 31 invited bids to acquire the right to own and operate 1 (one) of the 2 (two) new teams proposed to be introduced to take part in the tournament from the 2022 season, through a tender process.
“The detailed terms and conditions governing the submission and evaluation of bids including eligibility requirements, process for submissions of bids, proposed new teams’ rights, and obligations, etc. are contained in the ‘Invitation to Tender’ (“ITT”) which will be made available on receipt of payment of non-refundable fee of INR 10,00,000 (Rupees Ten Lakhs Only) plus any applicable Goods and Services Tax,” the BCCI had said in an official release.
The ITT is available for purchase till October 5. Interested parties have been requested to send an email at [email protected] to get further details for purchasing the ITT.
The email requesting the ITT should have the subject line “ITT for the Right to Own and Operate One of Two Proposed New IPL Teams”. Any interested party wishing to submit a bid is required to purchase the ITT.
However, only those satisfying the eligibility criteria set out in the ITT and subject to the other terms and conditions set out therein, shall be eligible to bid. It is clarified that merely purchasing this ITT does not entitle any person to bid. BCCI reserves the right to cancel
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