The phase of staff withdrawal from IPL 2021 is still underway. Following the withdrawal of four overseas players from the IPL 2021 midway through the competition, two of the tournament’s umpires, Nitin Menon and Paul Reiffel, have also agreed to withdraw.
Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa, and Liam Livingstone, as well as Ravichandran Ashwin, pulled out of the tournament earlier this year due to fears regarding the COVID-19 outbreak in India. Though Tye and Zampaquestioned why so much money was being spent in a cricket tournament when so many poor people were starving due to the pandemic, Ashwin said he was taking a break and could return.
Nitin Menon and Paul Reiffel, both members of the ICC’s Elite Panel of Umpires, seem to have left the tournament in the middle due to personal reasons.
After his mother and wife tested positive for the virus, Menon flew back to Indore, while former Australian seamer Reiffelreturned a few days ago due to concerns about the Australian government’s refusal to accept flights from India.
“Nitin has a young child to look after and his mother and wife have now tested positive, though Reiffel told BCCI that he is afraid of not being able to return home because of the Australian government’s decision to suspend all flights from India. The BCCI already had some local umpires on standby, so they would officiate in games where Menon and Reiffel were expected to stand,” a BCCI official told The Indian Express.
Rod Tucker, another Australian umpire, was expected to travel to India for the IPL, but he, too, has told the BCCI that he will not be making the trip due to personal reasons.
Meanwhile, Hemang Amin, the BCCI’s interim chief executive officer, told all eight franchises, their administrators, employees, and teams, as well as commentators, that the board would arrange for safe transportation home once the tournament was completed.
Chris Lynn, the Australian batter for the Mumbai Indians, also requested that Cricket Australia charter a flight for players to return home after the tournament was over.