Australia pace bowler Josh Hazlewood has admitted to some “concern” about the Covid-19 outbreak in the Chennai Super Kings set-up in Dubai ahead of joining the franchise for the 2020 IPL next month.
There have so far been 13 cases reported from the Super Kings contingent, including two players, which has delayed the start of the team’s training and put into doubt the early tournament schedule. Those who have tested positive have been moved to separate hotel.
Hazlewood is currently focusing on the limited-overs tour of England but is part of the Super Kings WhatsApp group where he is being kept up to date with developments.
“We have a group WhatsApp with all the information that comes through, it’s obviously a little bit of a concern,” he said. “Ideally you’d have no cases, they are in quarantine now and I think that finishes up in next few days. All my focus is on this tour at the moment and when the IPL comes closer we’ll think about that.”
When asked if there had been much talk about it among the other IPL-bound players in Australia’s touring party in the UK, or any direction yet on the matter from Cricket Australia, Hazlewood said: “We haven’t spoken too much about it yet, it’s a few weeks away until we get there. I assume those things will come up if cases are still happening closer to the date, then we’ll touch base with Cricket Australia and have a chat.”
There are 13 Australian players on the England tour with IPL deals – Daniel Sams having earned a late offer to replace Jason Roy at the Delhi Captials – with Hazlewood the only one bound for the Super Kings. He was bought by the franchise at a base price of INR 2 crore (A$ 408,000 then) at the IPL auction last December.
The current plans are for the Australia and England players heading to the UAE to share a flight following the conclusion of the ODI series on September 16. There has been a suggestion that they won’t have to quarantine on arrival as they will be coming from a biosecure bubble in the UK.
The Australian players will, however, have to undergo a two-week quarantine when they arrive home ahead of the start of the international season which may begin with white-ball matches against India.