Earlier today, Chennai Super Kings pacer Josh Hazlewood became the latest player to pull out of IPL 2021. The 30-year-old cited bio-bubble fatigue as the reason behind his decision to pull out of the cash-rich league starting on April 9.
It's noteworthy that the Chennai Super Kings franchise has not yet named a replacement for the Aussie pacer.
“It's a sudden development, and we were not prepared for it. We'll look at various options before arriving at a decision. We have our bases covered, so if the team management feels we don’t need a replacement, we might not seek one,” a CSK official told TOI after Hazlewood's decision.
Also read: 3 possible replacements for Josh Hazlewood
In a statement sent to Cricket Australia, Josh Hazlewood revealed that he is pulling out of the IPL in order to spend more time with his family and be fresh for the T20I World Cup and the Ashes scheduled for later this year.
His statement read:
"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. We’ve got a big winter ahead too. The West Indies is going to be a long tour, with Bangladesh 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."
Josh Hazlewood becomes 3rd Australian player to pull out of IPL 2021
Hazlewood's withdrawal will be a big blow to the Chennai Super Kings. CSK captain MS Dhoni will now have to look at Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Sam Curran and Dwayne Bravo to perform Hazlewood's role in the XI.
The Chennai Super Kings are set to play their first game of IPL 2021 on April 10 against the Delhi Capitals in Mumbai. It will be interesting to see if MS Dhoni's men can make a strong comeback after a forgettable tournament in 2020.