Josh Hazlewood has pulled out of the upcoming 2021 season of the Indian Premier League. The reason for him opting out of the Indian T20 extravaganza this season is the constant bubble life and quarantine routines.
It hasn’t been the easiest 12 months for the cricketers. They are constantly in bubbles and have had to undergo some hard quarantine procedures irrespective of where they have played. Some of the cricketers have been in the bio-secure bubble for most part of the last 8-10 months.
The 2020 season of the IPL was taken outside India due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and UAE (Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah) was the host. The bio-bubbles were strict and tight, and there was no leeway whatsoever. The 2021 edition, which is scheduled to start on the 9th of April, is expected to replicate the same. The teams may move around cities a touch, but the bio-secure bubbles are going to be strict, and they will be extremely tight.
With the constant bio-bubbles and quarantine rules, it has started to take a toll on the players. And there have been players pulling out of the IPL. Ace Australian fast bowler Josh Hazlewood has become the latest player to opt-out of the 14th edition of the IPL.
The New South Wales fast bowler was picked up by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at his base price of INR 2 crore in the auction for the 2020 season. He played three games in the 13th edition in the UAE, where he returned with just one wicket, but he bowled tightly, conceding runs at an economy of just 6.40.
Hazlewood cited the bio-bubbles and quarantine for skipping this season of the Indian T20 league. He was expected to fly down on the 1st of April and quarantine himself for seven days in Mumbai, where the CSK camp has been set up.
“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 was quoted saying to cricket.com.au.
Australia has a slightly hectic year ahead. They are scheduled to have a white-ball tour to the Caribbean, where they are likely to play three ODIs and as many T20Is. They will also fly down to Bangladesh ahead of the T20 World Cup for a few white-ball games. Then there is the T20 World Cup in October-November in India before the hectic home season. Afghanistan play a historic Test match in Australia before the big Ashes. Hence, Hazlewood wants to be in the best space, both mentally and physically, for the entire cricketing season.
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 further added.
Before Hazlewood, two other Australian players have already opted out of the upcoming season of the IPL. Josh Phillipe (RCB) and Mitchell Marsh (SRH) have already pulled out. Finn Allen and Jason Roy have been named as replacements by the respective franchises.