There were hugs and tears as dozens of Australian cricketers, coaches and commentators finally exited hotel quarantine in Sydney on Monday morning after fleeing Covid-ravaged India.
Pat Cummins, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell and Dave Warner were among those who finally embraced their loved ones after returning to Australia via the Maldives for two weeks in quarantine.
Most had not seen their families since heading to the Indian Premier League in early April and were flown home via a charter flight after the IPL was postponed.
They were staring at a longer time away when the federal government placed a ban on travellers returning from India before it was lifted on May 15.
Fats bowler Jason Behrendorff was among those to exit quarantine and said it was a relief to be home.
“It was nice to know that we were getting home that’s for sure,” Behrendorff said.
“It’s always tough being stuck somewhere and knowing that we’re able to get home was a relief and now we’re out of quarantine I can’t wait to get home and see my family.”
They will all head home but for may it won’t be long.
Most have been included in a 23-man squad to tour the West Indies and now Bangladesh in July and Augusta.
Five more T20s in Bangladesh were added to Australia’s upcoming touring plans as part of a jam-packed schedule that will now include 13 games in under a month.
The Aussies will play the five games in Bangladesh immediately after Australia‘s white-ball tour of the Caribbean and could complete them in under 10 days.
It gives captain Aaron Finch’s team 10 international T20 matches in less than a month, plus three ODIs against the West Indies to finetune white-ball skills for the World Cup.
Cricket Australia named a 23-man extended squad for the Windies tour, with a reduced squad likely to depart late in June for the first T20 in Saint Lucia on July 9.
The entire tour of eight games is scheduled to be played over just 16 days, with the five extra games in Bangladesh giving the Aussies 13 games in less than a month, with travel times included.
Some Australian players could then head straight to the rescheduled Indian Premier League, which has been rescheduled for September and October.