'It was terrifying': David Warner lifts the lid on 'upsetting' tragedy

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
David Warner says the coronavirus outbreak in India which saw a cohort of Australian cricketers stranded overseas earlier in May was a 'terrifying' experience. Pictures: Getty Images
David Warner says the coronavirus outbreak in India which saw a cohort of Australian cricketers stranded overseas earlier in May was a 'terrifying' experience. Pictures: Getty Images

David Warner has opened up about the 'terrifying' state of affairs in India as the nation battles a brutal wave of coronavirus infections.

India is continuing to grapple with the massive outbreak of coronavirus cases, with a seven-day average of 185,012 new cases according to Johns Hopkins University.

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That figure, while still catastrophically high, is thankfully a massive decrease on the seven-day average of 391,000 new cases at the beginning of May.

The massive surge in cases saw the Indian Premier League season put on hold and international players, including the likes of Warner, scrambling to return home.

After making it to the Maldives, where he and other Australian cricketers awaited repatriation flights back to Australia, Warner has since completed the latest in what has been numerous two-week quarantine periods since the beginning of the pandemic.

The star batsman joined breakfast radio duo Fitzy and Wippa how quickly the situation spiralled out of control.

“I think it really hit home when everyone saw that piece on the TV about what was happening in India with the oxygen,” he said.

“You know, people on the streets lining up to cremate their family members and we did see that a couple of times going to and from the grounds.

“Open fields and stuff. You know, it was terrifying. And it was just really upsetting from a humanitarian point of view.”

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Warner went on to describe the strange mood among the throng of visitors quarantining in the Maldoves before they were allowed to return home.

Australian borders were closed to India until May 15, with anyone wanting to return to Australia required to return a negative coronavirus test before boarding a plane home, then required to complete another 14 days of hotel quarantine.

“It was challenging. We had to get out of there ASAP," he said.

“We were there (in the Maldives) with other people and they were there for the same reasons — getting out of India, trying to get to their countries as well because pretty much everyone was locked out of their country who had been into India.” 

Warner’s beautiful message amid touching family reunion

Warner was among a host of cricketers who left quarantine in Sydney on Monday morning after being forced to spend two weeks in a hotel after arriving home via the Maldives.

Other players such as Pat Cummins, Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell, plus commentators Brett Lee and Ricky Ponting checked out the Marriott hotel on Monday.

The group hadn't seen their loved ones in weeks and were banned from returning to Australia from India until May 15, due to the Federal government's Covid-19 travel restrictions.

There were touching scenes as the cricket contingent finally got to see their family members again, with a lovely social media post from Warner on Sunday highlighting how much he was relishing the moment.

“14th day of quarantine, one sleep to go. I can’t wait to see my girls again,” Warner wrote on Instagram alongside a series of photos featuring his wife Candice and three daughters.

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The Aussie batsman also shared an Instagram story showing five alarms that he had set for Monday morning, in anticipation of the reunion with his family.

"Never wanted an alarm or five to go off soo (sic) badly," he captioned the picture with a pair of laughing emojis.

Warner, like many of the other Aussie cricketers, hadn't seen their families since April when they headed overseas for the Indian Premier League.

The worsening Covid crisis in India eventfully saw the competition postponed, with most of the Aussies involved unable to return to Australia right away because of the Federal government's travel ban.

Fast bowler Jason Behrendorff said he couldn't wait to get home and see his family after also being released from quarantine.

“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.”

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