Teams Start Training, IPL 2021 Countdown is Officially On
MS Dhoni is back of the cricket field, Rishabh Pant is an IPL captain and Jason Roy will continue his stay in India.
MS Dhoni is back of the cricket field, Rishabh Pant is an IPL captain and Jason Roy will continue his stay in India, having bagged a last-minute contract with Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Just over a week to go for the season-opener of the 2021 Indian Premier League and the wheels are well in motion for the 14th season of the tournament with players having completed their quarantine and teams starting their pre-season training camps.
While all players and staff were made to quarantine for 7 days before they enter the teams’ bio-bubbles, India and England’s cricketers avoided the time in their rooms, transferring straight from their international bio-bubbles to their IPL teams’.
There have also already been personnel changes with players pulling out of the season due to injuries and also concerns about bio-bubbles.
A shoulder surgery has ruled out Delhi Capitals’ captain Shreyas Iyer and the franchise have named Rishabh Pant their new skipper. Sunrisers Hyderabad too have added a new face to their line-up after Mitch Marsh pulled out due to personal reasons. The Aussie all-rounder has been replaced by in-form England cricketer Jason Roy who has joined the SRH franchise for his base price of Rs 2 crore.
Chennai Super Kings too have had a last-minute pull out with Josh Hazlewood withdrawing from the season due to personal reasons.
“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 told cricket.com.au while explaining why he pulled out.
"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," he said. "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."
While most players have gone through a hard grind in recent times, the sudden rise in Covid-19 cases in India have also raised some concerns. If anything, life in a bio-secure environment will be tougher and stricter during this edition of IPL.
After the end of the ODI series against England on Sunday, India skipper Virat Kohli had complained about scheduling. He said that playing cricket continuously in a bio-bubble would be tough.
"Scheduling needs to be looked at in future because playing in bio-bubbles for so long, two to three months, is going to be very, very difficult, going forward," he had said. "You can't expect everyone to be at the same level of mental strength. Sometimes you do get cooked and you do feel like a bit of a change."
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