Australian referee Paul Reiffel thwarted in attempt to leave India amid COVID chaos

While the situation in India was not so grim when he accepted the Indian council’s offer to arbitrate in the IPL, Reiffel was aware of the risks of being abroad during a global health crisis – but said he could not roll back the work.

Unlike players, some of whom are paid millions for just under two months of work, referees cannot charge such fees.

A member of the elite panel of referees of the International Cricket Council, Reiffel would normally travel the world to referee international fixtures, but the opportunities have dried up since the start of the pandemic last year.

He took part in last year’s IPL in the United Arab Emirates and turned up for the summer at home in Australia, but he was unlikely to referee another match before next season due to the difficulties of shifting.

“This is how I make a living. In these times of COVID, I haven’t officiated much, so any opportunity to work, grab it, ”Reiffel said.

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“You know that any trip can end any way. This is how I make a living. To postpone labor, you can’t afford it. You have to look at everything and try to weigh things. When I accepted and it all started, it was a very different landscape.

“It escalated pretty quickly, but that’s what’s happening with COVID. It happens quickly and most of the time you can’t see it happening. “

Although Reiffel now faces a nervous wait to see if he will be able to return home, he feels safe in the IPL bubble at a five-star hotel that protected “real world” players and officials.

“It’s a lot quieter than usual, it’s a bit unusual for India,” Reiffel said. “There are still people but it’s very quiet, there are a lot of people at home. It’s hard to say what life is like. It’s just the hotel and cricket.


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