Scott Morrison says he has no intentions of ringing Michael Slater and has been too busy to read the Aussie cricket great's latest scathing tweets.
Slater continued his attack on Morrisonon Wednesday night, calling on the Prime Minister to "come and witness the dead bodies on the street" in India.
Slater blasted Morrison earlier this week over the federal government's ban on flights from India to Australia, furious that he can't get home.
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The Aussie cricket great had been working as a commentator for the Indian Premier League and is now in the Maldives as he waits to return home.
Slater said the PM had "blood on his hands" in a scathing social media post on Monday night.
And the former Test batsman doubled down on Wednesday.
"Amazing to smoke out the PM on a matter that is a human crisis," Slater tweeted.
"The panic, the fear of every Australian in India is real!! How about you take your private jet and come and witness dead bodies on the street!
"And did just read greed over common sense! Your government granted me permission to work so I can pay for 3 beautiful children through school and pay a mortgage. So where does common sense lie. Not on my end!
"I challenge you to a debate anytime PM."
Scott Morrison responds to latest Michael Slater spray
Responding to the latest attack on Thursday, the PM said he “respected” Slater but was a bit busy to take up the offer of a debate.
“I understand he’s upset. I understand he’s frustrated,” Mr Morrison told 3AW radio.
“I understand the deep feeling. But as Prime Minister, I have to make decisions for Australia’s national interests.
"I have to make sure we keep Australians safe and we can bring Australians safely home.”
Mr Morrison said a phone call to Slater also wasn't really a priority.
“I’ve been a bit focused on actually managing the pandemic itself,” the PM said.
Earlier on Thursday, Agriculture Minister David Littleproud took aim at Slater.
“Michael Slater needs to get over himself,” Mr Littleproud told Channel 9’s Today Show.
“He is acting like a spoiled prat. No one is underestimating the harrowing impacts on the Indian people, or on the Australians stuck there.
“Michael Slater can sit on the beach and slam us over here in Australia. These are tough decisions and we’re very empathetic with not only Australians there, but also those thousands of Indians that are dying every day.”
On Monday, Slater labelled the government's travel ban a "disgrace".
Aussie cricketers set to leave India
Meanwhile, Australia's IPL contingent will be evacuated en masse from India to other nations while anxiously hoping for the lifting of the travel ban.
But batting great Michael Hussey, the only one of 38 Australians at the now-suspended IPL to test positive to the coronavirus, will be forced to remain in India.
The rest of the Australian group - including 24 players and coaches, with other support staffers and commentators - will flee India within three days for either the Maldives or Sri Lanka.
They cannot come home until at least May 15 because the Morrison government has banned any Australian in India from returning until after that date.
Australian Cricketers' Association chief executive Todd Greenberg said the travel ban, announced suddenly by the government last Friday night, was worrying the cricket contingent.
"They signed up (for the IPL) with their eyes wide open about some of the challenges and risks," Greenberg told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday.
"They always knew when they came back they would have to do isolation for 14 days.
"What they didn't expect was for the borders to be closed.
"That created some anxiety for them, just like it would create anxiety for the 9000 Australians who are over there looking to come home."
Hussey must remain isolating at an Indian hotel for at least the next 10 days after returning positive COVID-19 tests on the past two days.
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