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At least 30 Australian cricketers stranded in India at IPL and face jail if they fly back home after Covid ban

INDIA’S coronavirus outbreak has led to over 30 Australian cricket stars, coaches and more being stranded in the country.

The Aussie government has shut the door on anyone returning from the stricken hotspot, leaving thousands of citizens unable to get home.

Steve Smith is one of several Australian cricket stars now stuck in India
Fellow IPL player David Warner faces jail if he breaks the ban to return home

Among them, according to the Mail, are 34 participants in the Indian Premier League cricket tournament.

Steve Smith, David Warner and Pat Cummins are among 12 players still competing in the ongoing competition along with 11 coaches, five support staff, four commentators and two umpires, as well as a New Zealand-born pundit who resides in Australia.

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting is one of those left in India with the IPL due to finish on May 30.

The tournament has faced calls to be abandoned as it plays on amid the staggering toll of cases and deaths across the Asian nation.

Over 9,000 Aussie citizens are thought to now be trapped in India.

The Canberra government has passed an emergency bill blocking anyone from arriving from the hotspot, directly or via Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.

Anyone who breaks the ban could face a five-year jail sentence or £37,000 fine.

But IPL stars Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson ditched the tournament to arrive in Melbourne on Thursday, having exploited a loophole to travel via Doha.

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Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson donned full PPE to fly home on Thursday

A Cricket Australia statement read: “We will assist where possible.

“We will continue to liaise closely with the Australian government following today’s announcement that direct flights from India to Australia will be paused until May 15, and monitor the situation between now and the tournament’s scheduled conclusion on May 30.”

A record 401,993 new cases were reported in India on Saturday, including 3,523 deaths.

Other countries such as the UK and USA have also placed travel bans on India.

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