Australian spinner Ashton Agar has asserted that he isn’t one bit surprised at the international players’ withdrawal mid-way from the cash-rich IPL. He also insisted that it takes a toll on the players’ mental health, staying weeks and weeks in the various bio-bubbles, during international stints.
The Indian Premier League’s 14th edition was temporarily suspended in early May, owing to the rising number of COVID-19 cases. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had announced that the IPL will be shifted to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and will restart somewhere in September.
There has been a debacle sparked on the availability of foreign players when the cash-rich league resumes. Some boards like England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Bangladesh Cricket Board have clearly denied sending their players to participate in the league owing to international duties.
Cricket Australia has not issued any statement regarding the matter yet. However, Australian spinner Ashton Agar said that he is not surprised by players’ decision to withdraw and pointed out that the players constantly travel for a long period, which affects their mental health.
"I'm not surprised at all (on withdrawals), and very understanding of that," Agar told cricket.com.au.
"It's hard not to be (understanding), really; these guys are away for a very long time, and unless you really put yourself in their shoes, it'd be tough to imagine the mental toll it takes on you,” he added.
Australian players have been under quarantine with various bio-bubbles in different countries to ensure safety from the dreadful covid-19 for the past year. Agar called this new trend ‘crazy’ and revealed how suffocating it becomes with the passing of time.
"I think if anyone had to do so many stints of quarantine - a lot of these guys have done 10-12 weeks already, and Covid has been around for a year-and-a-bit now - it's a crazy amount of time just spent sitting around a hotel room with your thoughts, without fresh air or whatever.”
Australian limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch was unsure on how Cricket Australia will manage permission to players. He personally hinted that the board might allow players on a ‘case-to-case' basis, with Dinesh Karthik all but confirming that Pat Cummins might not be available for the rest of the season.