CSK haven’t decided to name a replacement yet for Hazlewood. It must be noted that the franchise didn’t seek replacements last season after Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh pulled out of the tournament due to personal reasons. “It is a sudden development and we were not prepared for it. We will look at various options before arriving at a decision. But we have our bases covered. So if the team management feels we don’t need a replacement, we might not seek one,” a senior CSK official told TOI on Thursday.
Hazlewood, who became the third Australian player after Mitchell Marsh and Josh Philippe to withdraw from IPL, was supposed to travel to the country with Australia’s other IPL-bound players on Thursday. However, having spent six months in various bio-bubbles from last July to January this year, the pacer decided to take a break from cricket.
“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 as saying by cricket.com.au. “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,” he added.
Even though Hazlewood played just three games for CSK in the 2020 IPL, his withdrawal will weaken the CSK pace attack as they will be without Lungi Ngidi in the first game. The South African will only join the IPL franchise on April 5 after playing in the first two ODIs against Pakistan. Under the circumstances, medium-pacers Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo and Sam Curran will be the other options for Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Fit-again Jadeja joins CSK squad:
There is also some good news for CSK. A fit-again Ravindra Jadeja started training with the CSK squad on Thursday after completing his quarantine. The allrounder was out of action for three months after sustaining a thumb injury during the third Test match between India and Australia in January earlier this year.