Top international cricket players who were competing in the recently suspended Indian Premier League (IPL) have left India on an emotional note, including Rajasthan Royals' star batsman Jos Buttler, who sent his best wishes to the people of India amid "trying times."
India is a special country going through a very difficult time. Thank you for welcoming me and my family like you always do. Please stay safe and look after yourselves 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/DnNdFKkuO2— Jos Buttler (@josbuttler) May 5, 2021
The suspension of the world's most expensive cricket league left nearly 40 foreign players stranded in India after several countries closed their borders to people travelling from the Asian nation.
India has recorded the world's highest ever spike in COVID infections in 24 hours at 412,262, as well as a record number of virus-related deaths: 3,980.
Several Australian cricket players flew to the Maldives before heading home to Australia, where the government has threatened anyone defying strict travel rules with heavy fines and even jail. Eight English players are on their way back home from India.
Tom Moody, Sri Lanka's cricket director and former international cricketer – who is also the director of the IPL team Sunrisers Hyderabad – said, "To those who are suffering my heart is filled with love for you and your families, I pray for your safety and well being."
To those who are suffering my heart is filled with love for you and your families, I pray for your safety and well-being.— Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) May 6, 2021
Please do what you can to stay at home and be safe.
Thank you for your kind support and warm hospitality once again, until we meet again, take care.
Simon Doull, a New Zealander cricket commentator and former international player, took to Twitter to offer his condolences.
Dear India, You have given me so much over so many years and I am sorry to be leaving you in such trying times. To those who are suffering my heart go’s out to you and your families. Please do what you can to stay safe. Until next time take care. #india #cricket #love— Simon Doull (@Sdoull) May 5, 2021
Alan Wilkin, a Welsh cricket commentator and former cricketer, said he was leaving India "with a heavy heart" because the country has been "extraordinary kind" to him.
Leaving India 🇮🇳 with a heavy heart ❤️ and with prayers for the people of this country which over decades has been extraordinarily kind to me. Please take care of yourselves and your families. 🙏🇮🇳— Alan Wilkins (@alanwilkins22) May 6, 2021
The feelings of gratitude that foreign cricket stars have expressed for the nation have evoked huge response from their fans in India.
Hope you hv reached UK safely Jos. Thanks for kind words and thank for entertaining us in these difficult times. That 100 has given us enormous joy. Keep yourself and family safe. We will win in this together. #COVID19 #CoronavirusIndia— Devesh Sharma (@deveshsharma4u) May 6, 2021
Thank Jos for such a kind words. This testing times shall pass too.— Sumeet Raj Sengar (@iamthesengar) May 6, 2021
Looking forward to host you soon when everything becomes normal. ❤️
Not met too many who genuinely care more about India than you Doully. Travel safe— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) May 5, 2021