While many Australian cricketers have opted out of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, Mumbai Indians all-rounder Nathan Coulter-Nile said he is planning to stay with his team as coronavirus continues to rage. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Monday confirmed that two Australian players — Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson — will be heading back for personal reasons. This comes after Rajasthan Royals pacer Andrew Tye opted out of the ongoing tournament on Sunday.
But Coulter-Nile is confident of staying in the bio-secure bubble and asserted that all "protocols and measures" are being followed to keep everyone safe in the tournament. "We have a rapid response test in the morning ahead of another test later in the day, and then one at night as well. And that's for everyone — players, staff, the people who do laundry, cleaners, everyone," cricket.com.au quoted Coulter-Nile as saying.
"In terms of testing, they are pretty onto it. I'm as confident (in the bubble) as you can be. All the protocols and measures are in place, I can't think of anything more we could be doing," he stressed. "As long as everyone follows them — that's the hardest bit, there's a lot of moving parts — but if everyone does the right thing, we should be fine," Coulter-Nile added. The Mumbai Indians all-rounder was surprised to see his Australian teammates going home. Coulter-Nile said it's safer for him to stay in the bubble than depart for Australia amid the rising COVID-19 cases.
"Everyone's got their own opinions on it and different situations for them. I was surprised to see AJ go home, and then Zamps and Richo, but when you speak to them, you definitely understand where they're coming from," said Coulter-Nile. "I spoke to Zamps a little while ago and he made a very compelling argument for going home. But for me, I feel like it's safer for me to stay in the bubble than try and get home at the moment."
"Especially with all the Australian and New Zealand players in the same boat as me at the moment, I feel like something's got to give for getting home. "I'm just going to wait and see how that plays out. Worst comes to worst, we'll have to quarantine in Dubai for a couple of weeks before we can fly home. But I'm sure it will get sorted," he added.
Meanwhile, Delhi Capitals spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has announced that he would be taking a break from the ongoing IPL season as he wants to extend support to his family who are currently battling Covid-19. The Covid-19 pandemic has gripped India and the country has been reporting more than 3,00,000 new cases every day. This is the most number of cases being reported since the pandemic broke out in 2020.