Indian umpire Nitin Menon and his Australian counterpart Paul Reiffel are the latest in a growing list of people who have decided to pull out of the ongoing Indian Premier League (2021) due to personal reasons.
Nitin Menon, who is the only Indian in ICC’s Elite panel of umpires, is believed to have left the IPL 2021 bio-bubble to return home to Indore. Menon’s wife and mother have tested positive for COVID-19, according to reports.
“Yes, Nitin has left as his immediate family members have COVID-19 and he is currently not in a mental state to conduct games,” PTI quoted a BCCI official as saying.
Former Australian fast bowler Paul Reiffel meanwhile, has returned home a few days back due to anxiety about the Australian government not allowing flights from India.
“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 BCCI already had several local umpires as back-up so they will be officiating in games in which Menon and Reiffel were scheduled to stand,” a BCCI official was quoted by The Indian Express.
Menon and Reiffel joined Ravichandran Ashwin (Delhi Capitals), Kane Richardson (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Adam Zampa (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Liam Livingstone (Rajasthan Royals) and Andrew Tye (Rajasthan Royals) in withdrawing from the IPL mid-way into the 2021 edition amid the worsening coronavirus crisis in India.
The three Aussies – Richardson, Zampa and Tye – have already returned home due to personal reasons while Liam Livingstone went back to England citing bubble-fatigue as the reasons behind his decision to leave.
Ashwin, the only Indian to have pulled out of IPL 2021, decided to take a break from the tournament as he wants to be with his “family and extended family are putting up a fight against COVID19”. The Chennai-based off-spinner stated that he would return to play for the franchise “if things go in the right direction”.
IPL 2021 is being held in strict bio-bubbles across 6 major cities in India, which saw a global record spike in cases for the 8th day in a row with 3,79,257 positive results and 3,645 deaths in the last 24 hours.