IPL 2021: CSK’s offers turned down , unable to find Hazelwood’s replacement

Covid-19 is calling the shots in the build-up to the IPL yet again and the teams are feeling the heat, Chennai Super Kings being no exception. The team, which had a number of players positive before the event in UAE last year, hasn’t been affected on that front yet, but one of the members of their content team has tested positive.

The officials, though, insisted that it is a minor hiccup, the bubble wasn’t breached and the member didn’t come in contact with players.

Prior to the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Chennai Super Kings (CSK), who finished as the cellar dwellers last season, have found themselves in a bit of trouble. Australia’s Josh Hazlewood pulled out of the tournament and the three-time champions are struggling to find his replacement with less than a week remaining for the start of the league.


Credit: crictracker.com
Credit: espncricinfo.com

The Super Kings, as per reports, had approached Aussie paceman Billy Stanlake and England left-armer Reece Topley as a replacement for Hazlewood. However, both of them have turned the offers down, the reason being the increased number of COVID-19 cases in India.

“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,” a source close to the development was quoted as saying to The Times of India (TOI).
Among the players, Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) Nitish Rana, Delhi Capitals’ (DC) Axar Patel, and Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) Devdutt Padikkal have already fallen prey to the virus. Moreover, groundstaff at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai couldn’t evade the wrath of the virus either.

Amidst the problems, CSK have a reason to rejoice after it was learned that Ravindra Jadeja is up and running for the IPL after the injury layoff. “He batted and bowled in the nets and looked pretty good at that. He will definitely be a part of the playing XI,” the source added.
As far as Hazlewood is concerned, he was a tad fatigued after spending time in bio-secure bubbles over the last few months. The speedster is also aware of Australia’s upcoming international fixtures and wants to stay ‘mentally and physically’ fit.

“We’ve got a big winter ahead too. The West Indies is going to be a long tour, with Bangladesh (T20 tour) potentially thrown at 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,” he had said.
Meanwhile Ravindra Jadeja, who is returning from an injury, has looked sharp in the practice sessions in Mumbai and the team management has no worries about his fitness. “He batted and bowled in the nets and looked pretty good at that. He will definitely be part of the playing XI,” the source added.

Meanwhile opener Ruturaj Gaikwad, who impressed during the latter part of the IPL last season, is almost certain to open this time around.

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