Chennai Super Kings (CSK), who couldn’t make the IPL playoffs last year, have been dealt with a blow ahead of the upcoming season. Their seam bowler Josh Hazlewood has decided to pull out of IPL 2021.
The pacer’s decision to withdraw from the T20 extravaganza at the 11th hour would’ve undoubtedly surprised the Super Kings. There, however, is still time for them to pick a replacement for the Australian fast bowler.
Hazlewood isn’t the first Aussie to have decided not to play in IPL 2021. On Wednesday, all-rounder Mitchell Marsh also announced his decision to skip the 14th edition of the league with Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
Having been in various bio-secure bubbles and hubs from last August to January this year, both players have decided to forgo the IPL to refresh and spend time at home with their friends and family.
“It’s been a long 10 months in bubbles and quarantine at different times, so I decided to have a rest from cricket and spend some time at home and in Australia in the next two months,” Hazlewood told cricket.com.au.
“We’ve got a big winter ahead too. The West Indies is going to be a long tour, with Bangladesh (T20 tour) potentially thrown on the end of that.
“Then potentially the T20 World Cup leading into the Ashes, so it’s a big 12 months, as it always is with Australia, and I want to give myself the best chance to be mentally and physically ready for that.
“That’s the decision I’ve made, and it sits pretty well with me,” Hazlewood explained.
Now, there will be added pressure on the likes of Dwayne Bravo and Sam Curran as CSK CEO Kasi Vishwanathan had already confirmed the unavailability of Lungi Ngidi for at least their first match against Delhi Capitals (DC).
CSK’s loss is New South Wales’ gain, with Hazlewood now available for the back end of the Sheffield Shield – Australia’s domestic first-class cricket competition.
“I haven’t been bowling a great deal with plans to play T20 cricket until after this game and also the weather wrecked my chances – I probably missed five sessions outdoors,” Hazlewood said.
“The workloads are a bit too low … to play (both) Wollongong and the Shield final if we make it – hopefully I can use the next two weeks to build up and if we’re in the Shield final I can play that.”