Australian umpire Paul Reiffel, who along with Indian umpire Nitin Menon had recently decided to pull out of IPL 2021 for ‘personal reasons’, has been unable to fly out of India. Reiffel will now serve out the remainder of the competition and return home only after the conclusion of the tournament, according to Australian media reports.
Reiffel told the Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday from his hotel in Ahmedabad that his bags were packed and tickets booked for a flight to Sydney from Doha – only to be told that he would have to stay. “I tried to leave, but the flight through Doha, I wasn’t able to go through as an Australian,” Reiffel said.
“They shut the avenue off. I know a couple of the guys got back that way through there, but the avenue was closed so I had to stay,” Reiffel said.
Reiffel, a former Australia international cricketer, is currently a member of the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires.
Reiffel said on Thursday that he was 10 minutes from leaving the IPL bio-bubble when he learnt that he would not be allowed to fly to Australia through Doha.
Had Reiffel left the bio-bubble before finding out the change in travel plans, he would have been stranded. He would have then been required to complete a period of self-isolation before being able to take part in the remainder of the IPL season.