Umpire Nitin Menon Pulls Out of IPL 2021 After Mother And Wife Test Positive For Covid-19; Paul Reiffel Also Withdraws

A couple of days after several overseas cricketers, majorly Australians, decided to withdraw their names from the ongoing season of IPL in India, two high-profile umpires Nitin Menon and Paul Reiffel have also left the tournament citing various reasons related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Menon’s mother and wife have tested positive for the deadly virus and he has a kid to look after. So he has flew home to Indore to be with his family.

On the other hand, Reiffel informed the BCCI that he was anxious of not being able to return home with Australia banning flights from India till May 15 and thus left few days back.

Both Menon and Reiffel are part of ICC’s Elite Panel of Umpires.

“Nitin has a small child to look after as his mother and wife have tested positive while Reiffel informed BCCI that he fears not being able to go home due to the Australian government’s decision banning all flights from India,”  The Indian Express quoted an unnamed BCCI source as confirming.

The English daily further reported that the BCCI has already kept several local umpires as back-up and so will be officiating in the matches that Menon and Reiffel were scheduled to.

Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson left for home after expressing their fear of being locked out when reports emerged Australia was planning to suspend flights from India due to the dire coronavirus situation in the country. Before them, Liam Livingstone of England had also left IPL 2021 claiming bubble fatigue.

India offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who represents Delhi Capitals, has taken a break to be with his family as they fight coronavirus.

Meanwhile, BCCI has assured that it will make due arrangements to return home safely for everyone involved with IPL.  “We understand that many of you are apprehensive about how you will get back home once the tournament concludes, which is natural and understandable,” BCCI’s interim chief executive officer Hemang Amin said in an email addressed to the eight franchises.

“We want to apprise you that you have nothing to worry about. The BCCI will do everything to ensure that you reach your respective destinations seamlessly. The BCCI is monitoring the situation very closely and is working with the government authorities to make arrangements to get you home once the tournament concludes. Be rest assured that the tournament is not over for BCCI till each one of you has reached your home, safe and sound,” Amin added.

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