England trio pull out of IPL, Indians fly private charter
Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes and Dawid Malan are the latest England internationals to pull out of the Indian Premier League while Mumbai Indians flew its players on a private jet to the UAE
PAA and cricket.com.au
12 September 2021, 08:42 AM AEST
Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes and Dawid Malan have joined England teammate Jos Buttler in withdrawing from the Indian Premier League, which resumes next week.
A bulging winter schedule is on the horizon for the quartet, who have been selected in England's T20 World Cup squad with that tournament beginning next month in the United Arab Emirates, and all four are in contention for Ashes places too.
Rajasthan Royals last month announced Buttler will be absent for the remainder of the IPL, which restarts on September 19 in the UAE after being suspended in May amid a rise in COVID-19 cases in India.
Fellow wicketkeeper-batsman Bairstow, seam-bowling allrounder Woakes and Malan, who has held the ICC's No.1 ranking as a T20 batsman for the past 12 months, have now pulled out as well.
Bairstow is the leading run scorer for Sunrisers Hyderabad but they sit bottom of the standings at the halfway point and seem unlikely to reach the knockout phases while Woakes and Malan have only had bit-part roles with Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings respectively.
Bairstow's withdrawal likely means an automatic return to the Sunrisers starting XI for Australian opener David Warner, who was sensationally dumped from the playing XI by the club before the league's shutdown in May.
Warner had managed 193 runs in six games to be the side's second highest run-scorer, but they came at the relatively sedate strike rate of 110.28.
He was benched for just the one game before the league was halted, with Manish Pandey elevated to open alongside Bairstow, with Sunrisers also using Kane Williamson and Afghanistan pair Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi as their international contingent.
New Zealand skipper Williamson took over the captaincy from Warner, and it remains to be seen what Sunrisers' Australian brains trust of coach Trevor Bayliss and director of cricket Tom Moody do.
Bairstow has been replaced in the Sunrisers squad by West Indies left-hander Sherfane Rutherford, who has been enjoying an excellent Caribbean Premier League with St Kitts & Nevis, averaging north of 40 with three fifties, and striking at 136.70.
South Africa's Aiden Markram has replaced Malan at the Punjab Kings, but the Ricky Ponting coached Delhi Capitals have not announced a replacement for Woakes.
Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer had already confirmed their unavailability for the Royals, but there could still be 10 English representatives on show with 2019 50-over World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan heading the pack as he skippers Kolkata Knight Riders.
Jason Roy, Adil Rashid, Moeen Ali, Sam and Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Sam Billings, and George Garton – who is understood to be on the radar with some KFC BBL clubs – are also due to participate in the highly-lucrative T20 competition.
Billings and Tom Curran have already signed on for this summer's BBL, with Sydney clubs the Sixers and Thunder respectively.
Livingstone has indicated he is unlikely to return to the Perth Scorchers this summer, citing bubble fatigue, while Roy is also yet to commit. Malan's likely involvement in the Ashes squad means he is not expected to return to the Hobart Hurricanes.
While all England players will fly commercial, Mumbai Indians announced captain Rohit Sharma, fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah and batsman Suryakumar Yadav arrived into Abu Dhabi on a private charter flight on Saturday night AEST.
Every player and support staff involved in the IPL has to undergo six days of hotel room quarantine on arrival in the UAE.
The trio could have been involved in India's fifth and final Test against England at Old Trafford, which was dramatically called off on Friday due to COVID-19 concerns in the tourists' camp, just a couple of hours before play was due to begin.