Australian ODI and Test captain Pat Cummins has taken the bold step of skipping the 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). He was recently appointed as the skipper of the 50-over format following Aaron Finch's retirement and Cummins wants to focus on his preparations for the Ashes ahead of the cash-rich league.
The pacer's place in the squad as well as his T20 credentials were doubted after he had a poor T20 World Cup 2022 campaign. He claimed three wickets in four matches at an economy of 8.25 as the defending champions crashed out of the tournament from the Super 12 stage.
The Aussies also have an unforgiving and unrelenting schedule. They are scheduled to face England in a three-match ODI series this month before touring Pakistan for a Test series in December and then concluding the year with a three-match Test series against South Africa.
They have a crucial tour of India in early 2023 which will be followed by the Ashes and the ODI World Cup. Being the captain across the two formats, Cummins is expected to play a crucial role in all of the aforementioned overseas ventures.
Announcing his intention not to play IPL 2023, Cummins posted on social media:
"I’ve made the difficult decision to miss next years IPL. The international schedule is packed with Tests and ODI’s for the next 12 months, so will take some rest ahead of an Ashes series and World Cup."
"Thanks so much to @KKRiders for their understanding. Such a terrific team of players and staff and I hope I can get back there ASAP."
Apart from Cummins, fellow Australian pacer Mitchell Starc will also not be a part of the IPL. The left-arm pacer last played in the competition for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2015.
KKR line up Lockie Ferguson as their overseas alternative for Pat Cummins
The two-time IPL champions successfully completed a deal on Sunday, November 13, that saw Lockie Ferguson and Rahmanullah Gurbaz join their ranks from the Gujarat Titans (GT).
The New Zealand pacer is likely to be their premier overseas pace bowling option in Cummins' absence.
KKR also spruced up their squad by striking a deal with the Delhi Capitals (DC) for the services of Shardul Thakur. Youngster Aman Khan will join the Rishabh Pant-led side in exchange.
Will KKR miss the services of Pat Cummins in IPL 2023? Let us know what you think.
Also Read: IPL 2023: "Finally, Lord at Eden Gardens" - Twitterati react as KKR acquire Shardul Thakur in an all-cash deal ahead of mini-auction
Get IPL 2023 Live Score along with Points Table & Schedule Updates at Sportskeeda.