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Australian cricket legend Mike Hussey tests positive to COVID-19

Australian cricket legend Michael Hussey has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.

The 45-year-old was working as a batting coach for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League, and is one of many Australians trapped in the country following Scott Morrison’s decision to introduce a hard border closure.

The glamorous T20 tournament was indefinitely suspended on Tuesday evening after a number of cricketers and staff members contracted the virus.

Television crew and venue staff also contracted coronavirus as the integrity of the tournament’s biosecurity bubble was compromised.

The Kolkata Knight Riders were placed in isolation after players Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive on Monday, along with three staff members from the Super Kings — chief executive officer Kasi Viswanathan, bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji and a bus cleaner.

The IPL decided to take an indefinite pause on Tuesday as Sunrisers Hyderabad wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha — a teammate of David Warner — joined the growing list.

Early on Monday morning AEST, The Times of India reported Hussey had become the first Australian in the IPL bubble to test positive.

Hussey played 79 Test matches and 185 one-day internationals for Australia, scoring 22 centuries and 11,677 runs.

He featured in the 2006/07 Ashes whitewash and 2007 Cricket World Cup triumph.

Michael Hussey.Source:Getty Images

There were more than 30 Australian players, commentators, umpires and coaching staff participating in the IPL — including Steve Smith, Pat Cummins, David Warner and Ricky Ponting.

The Australian talent in India now face an anxious wait to get home, with Morrison’s government introducing fines of up to $66,600 or five years in prison for anyone defying the travel ban.

The temporary measure was designed to allow for hotel quarantine upgrades in Australia before an influx of citizens fleeing COVID-ravaged India.

Last week, Morrison said Australian cricket players and coaches in India would not be given any preferential treatment.

“They’ve travelled there privately under their own arrangements. This wasn’t part of an Australian tour,” Morrison said.

“And they’re under their own resources and they’ll be using those resources, I’m sure, to see them return to Australia in accordance with our own arrangements.”

The Aussies knew they would be required to spend 14 days in quarantine upon returning home — they did not anticipate being locked out of the country with a threat of jail time.

Pat Cummins of Australia.Source:Getty Images

“Up until now I felt incredibly safe in the bubble they created,” Cummins told Fox Sports’ Back Page on Tuesday.

“Arriving we had to do seven days quarantine, tests every two days, we had to wear masks in the hotel, literally the only people we have seen are hotel staff who are getting tested every day and members of our team.

“Once we flew out from Australia we knew we faced 14 days quarantine coming home, so you always feel that little bit further away from getting home, but as soon as that hard border shut obviously no one has ever experienced that before.

“It added a little bit of anxiety for some of the Aussies over here, but hopefully it all opens on May 15 and we are able to get back.”

IPL commentator and former Australian Test batter Michael Slater flew to the Maldives on the weekend, where he will wait until he can legally return home.

According to The Australian, some of the 30-odd Australians are considering a similar move — there is also talk of ordering a charter flight to Dubai.

On Tuesday, Warner has shared an emotional Instagram post with a message from his daughters and wife with a desperate plea: “Please Daddy come home straight away”.

Australian cricketers Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson returned home last week before the travel restrictions were introduced.

Mike Hussey.Source:Getty Images

India is recording about 360,000 cases and 3500 deaths a day and has been hit by chronic shortages of hospital beds and oxygen.

A huge international effort is underway to deliver much-needed oxygen to cities around India where coronavirus cases have skyrocketed to the point where people infected, including babies, have died while waiting for treatment outside hospitals.

Long queues were seen at vaccination centres across the weekend, with people desperate to be inoculated against a disease that has overwhelmed the healthcare system.

Social media platforms have been flooded with pleas from people looking for oxygen cylinders, medicines and hospital beds as the COVID-19 wave causes widespread shortages.

Last week, Cummins donated $50,000 to help the nation fight the outbreak, calling for other players to contribute to the PM Cares Fund.

Cricket Australia and the Australia Cricketers’ Association released a joint statement on Tuesday following the IPL’s decision to postpone the tournament.

“CA is in direct contact with the BCCI as they work through plans to ensure the safe accommodation and repatriation of Australian players, coaches, match officials and commentators back home to Australia,” the statement read.

“CA and the ACA respect the decision of the Australian Government to pause travel from India until at least May 15 and will not seek exemptions.

“CA and the ACA thank the BCCI for their efforts and co-operation for the safe repatriation of all participants at the IPL.”

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