Josh Hazlewood recently pulled out of IPL 2021, citing bio-bubble fatigue as the reason. The fast bowler was part of the grueling series against India down under.
According to a report in Times of India, the CSK management has approached a few players to replace Josh Hazlewood, but they have turned down the offer owing to the rising COVID cases in Mumbai. The CSK franchise will play their first five games in Mumbai.
The report claimed Australian pacer Billy Stanlake was the first to be contacted, but he turned down the offer. After Stanlake, CSK turned to England left-arm pacer Reece Topley, who recently featured in the ODIs against India, but without luck.
A source was quoted as telling TOI:
"Many of them have contracts with English county teams and the permissions aren't forthcoming due to the rising number of Covid cases. We may have to go for a wildcard and may get one soon enough. But the problems do persist.”
CSK have had their own battles with COVID-19. Last season, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Deepak Chahar tested positive for the virus. This time as well, a member of the content team has tested positive for COVID-19. Officials, however, have maintained that the affected member did not come in contact with any of the CSK players.
COVID-19 is creating a lot of trouble for IPL 2021. Over the last two days, Delhi Capitals’ Axar Patel and Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Devdutt Padikkal have tested positive for Coronavirus.
Furthermore, members of the ground staff at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai have also tested positive for COVID-19. Wankhede Stadium is scheduled to host 10 IPL matches from April 10-25.
What Josh Hazlewood said while pulling out of IPL 2021
Josh Hazlewood, while announcing his decision to pull out of IPL 2021, pointed out that he has been part of bio-bubbles for the last 10 months and would like to spend some time with his family. He was quoted as telling cricket.com.au:
"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 (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.”
Before Josh Hazlewood, two other Aussies, Josh Philippe (RCB) and Mitchell Marsh (SRH), had also pulled out of IPL 2021.