The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League is less than two weeks away, and all eight teams have kick-started their preparations ahead of the tournament, which starts on 19 September.
The tournament is set to be played behind closed doors within a bio-secure bubble amid the coronavirus pandemic, and will take place across three venues in the United Arab Emirates— Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, with the final to take place on 10 November.
While star players like Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli make their return to the cricket field for the first time in more than five months, there have already been a few player withdrawals due to various reasons.
Here, we take a look at the list of players to have withdrawn from the T20 league so far:
Chris Woakes (Delhi Capitals, replaced by Anrich Nortje)
On 18 August, England all-rounder Chris Woakes pulled out of the IPL, and his franchise Delhi Capitals (DC) replaced him with South African pacer Anrich Nortje. While the press release issued by DC did not mention the reason behind Woakes’ withdrawal, a report in ESPNCricinfo added that Woakes pulled out due to health concerns. Woakes was recently part of the England Test side against West Indies and Pakistan. He even notched up a century against Pakistan during the first Test. He was initially signed up by DC for Rs 1.5 crore during the auction in December 2019.
This will be Nortje’s maiden IPL season. In 2019, the South African was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for his base price of Rs 20 lakh but was ruled out after he suffered a shoulder injury.
Harry Gurney (Kolkata Knight Riders, replacement not yet named)
England bowler Harry Gurney is set to miss the upcoming tournament due to a shoulder injury. Gurney was acquired by Kolkata Knight Riders for his base price of Rs 75 lakh during the auction, and this would have been his second season in the IPL had he taken part. KKR are yet to name a replacement for the 33-year-old cricketer from Nottingham.
Jason Roy (Delhi Capitals, replaced by Daniel Sams)
Joining Chris Woakes in the Delhi Capitals’ pull-out list is his fellow countryman Jason Roy, who withdrew from the IPL due to a side-strain. Due to that injury, the England opening batsman also missed T20I series against Pakistan as well as the ongoing series against Australia. Uncapped Australian seamer Daniel Sams, who was the highest wicket-taker in the Big Bash League (BBL), has been roped in as replacement for Roy.
Suresh Raina (Chennai Super Kings, replacement not yet named)
Becoming the first high-profile Indian cricketer to pull out from the tournament, CSK vice-captain Suresh Raina had initially cited ‘personal reasons’ for his last-minute withdrawal. Raina was already in UAE quarantining along with the CSK squad when he decided to pull out. After reaching India, Raina confirmed that his uncle had been murdered by robbers in Punjab’s Pathankot, an incident which also left four of his family members injured. Raina also revealed that his cousin, who was injured the same night, also succumbed to injuries after battling for his life for several days.
Amid his decision to leave the CSK camp, the team’s owner N Srinivasan had initially expressed unhappiness on the 33-year-old’s decision, stating that the cricketer would realise ‘what he was missing’. However, in an interview with The Times of India, Srinivasan confirmed that he was misquoted, and that Raina had the full support of CSK. A replacement for Raina is yet to be announced.
Harbhajan Singh (Chennai Super Kings, replacement not yet named)
In another massive blow for CSK, veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh, too, opted out of IPL due to ‘personal reasons’. The 40-year-old took to Twitter to confirm the same, and added that he wanted privacy as he looked forward to spending time with family.
He also went onto say that the CSK management had been supportive of his decision. A replacement is yet to be named for Harbhajan.
Lasith Malinga (Mumbai Indians, replaced by James Pattinson)
Sri Lanka speedster Lasith Malinga became the first prominent player from Mumbai Indians’ side to withdraw from IPL, and has cited personal reasons for the same. Australian pacer James Pattinson has been named as the replacement for the Sri Lankan.
Kane Richardson (Royal Challengers Bangalore, replaced by Adam Zampa)
Australia speedster Kane Richardson opted out from the cash-rich league to be with his wife for the birth of their first child. Richardson added that the decision to pull out from the tournament was difficult but the right one. Fellow Aussie cricketer Adam Zampa has been named as replacement.
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