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Tim Paine, Marnus Labuschagne & others bid farewell to their family; airlifted after new COVID-19 cases in South Australia

  • The Aussie players were airlifted from Adelaide in a charter flight.

  • The limited-overs series between Australia and India is set to begin from November 27.

Cricket Australia (CA) on Tuesday airlifted players, including Test captain Tim Paine and star batsman Marnus Labuschagne, to Sydney from Adelaide in an attempt to save their domestic season and upcoming series against India as new coronavirus cases were reported in South Australia this week.

The country’s cricket board has taken this step because Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmania have closed their borders to South Australia.

“CA has taken a proactive approach and mobilised a number of people across the country over the past 24 hours to shore up our men’s domestic and international schedules,” CA’s interim chief executive Nick Hockley was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

“I would like to thank the players and staff for their understanding regarding the changes to their travel schedules and for their commitment to ensuring the summer of cricket is a huge success.”

Besides Paine and Labuschagne, players who bid a quick farewell to their family and friends include Matthew Wade, Travis Head and Cameron Green among others.

Hockley added, “I would also like to thank the various leadership groups across Australian cricket for coming together over the past 48 hours and taking quick, decisive action – made possible by thorough, cross-department contingency planning.

“CA will continue to monitor the situation in South Australia and the resulting border restrictions around the country.

“As ever, we will remain agile in addressing the challenges presented by the pandemic and remain more confident than ever of hosting a safe and successful summer across all formats.”

Australia and India will play three ODIs and as many T20Is starting November 27. The two teams will then compete in a four-match Test series, beginning with the day-night Test at the Adelaide Oval from December 17.

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