Australian international cricketer and a former captain of the Australian team, David Andrew Warner has opened up on his intense experience fleeing the Indian Premier League and quarantining in the Maldives.
The star opening batsman has revealed the full extent of the tragic scenes he witnessed in COVID ravaged India during his time playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL.
“I think it really hit home when everyone saw that piece on the TV about what was happening in India with the oxygen,” Warner told Nova’s Fitzy & Wippa.
“You know, people on the streets lining up to cremate their family members and we did see that a couple of times going to and from the grounds. Open fields and stuff. You know, it was terrifying. And it was just really upsetting from a humanitarian point of view,” Warner, the first Australian cricketer in 132 years to be selected for a national team in any format without experience in first-class cricket said Warner, said.
With the second wave of COVID gripping India and resulting in a high number of fatalities, the IPL 2021 was suspended indefinitely after some of the cricketers tested positive. Warner was one of the many Australian cricketers who were flown to the Maldives to spend time in quarantine. Warner called the decision to pull the plug on the IPL the correct move and explained how important it was for the players to move out of the bio-bubbled the moment cases emerged.
“I think the right decision was made (to suspend the IPL). Got into the bubble, which was obviously going to be a challenge once we started moving, getting on and off aircraft. But look, they did their best to try and put it (the IPL) on there and we know in India that everyone loves cricket, and half the population would do anything to put a smile on their face and just watch that,” he said.
“It was challenging. We had to get out of there ASAP. We were there (in the Maldives) with other people and they were there for the same reasons — getting out of India, trying to get to their countries as well because pretty much everyone was locked out of their country who had been into India.”
The left-handed opening batsman Warner and other Australian cricketers including Pat Cummins and Steve Smith were reunited with their families on Monday night after being released from two weeks of hotel quarantine.