Australian Players In IPL 2021
Australian Players In IPL 2021

Cricket Australia has cleared the way for the nation’s top white-ball players to return to the Indian Premier League 2021’s 2nd leg to be held in the UAE in September and October. It will be the second season on the trot in which Cricket Australia’s players have missed the opening rounds of Australia’s domestic competitions to participate in the lucrative domestic T20 tournament.

Cricket Australia will issue No Objection Certificates for leading players to return to the IPL when it resumes next month while a planned T20 tri-series with Afghanistan and West Indies may be repurposed as World Cup warm-ups.

Cricket Australia
Cricket Australia

Cricket Australia To Issue No Objection Certificates For White Ball Specialists To Return To Play In The IPL 2021

IPL 2021 was halted midway in May after a catastrophic outbreak of COVID-19 in India and bio bubble breaches resulting in players reporting positive. About 40 Cricket Australia’s players, coaches, broadcasters, and support staff had to spend time in the Maldives while international borders were shut, before eventually returning via a charter flight provided by the BCCI.

The IPL 2021 has since been rescheduled to complete the remaining 36 games in 27 days between September 19 and October 15 in the UAE, finishing just two days before the T20 World Cup begins, which has also been relocated to the region from India for Covid-19.

IPL Trophy.
IPL Trophy. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Australia’s men’s domestic summer will begin with a Marsh One-Day Cup game on September 11, meaning any players heading to the IPL and subsequent T20 World Cup will not feature at home before the Test summer begins against Afghanistan from November 27.

Cricket Australia’s clearance came after the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) confirmed the postponement of a three-match ODI series between the two nations originally planned to be held in India in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup. A mooted T20 tri-series also involving the West Indies was due to form an important part of the World Cup preparations for all three squads, and Afghanistan authorities are continuing efforts to secure a venue to host it.

With the initial group stages of the T20 World Cup expected to be played primarily in Oman, the UAE venues could be free to host the matches between the end of the IPL and the start of the World Cup’s Super 12 stage, expected to begin on October 23.

Eight Players Who Played IPL 2021 Initial Stage Made Themselves Unavailable For West Indies And Bangladesh Tour Where Australia Suffered Heavy Defeats

Eight players who participated in the initial stage of this year’s IPL made themselves unavailable for Cricket Australia’s recent tour of the West Indies and Bangladesh, where the T20 side slumped to 4-1 defeats against both nations. Seven of those players – David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, and Daniel Sams – are now expected to return to the IPL 2021.

KKR pacer Pat Cummins has said he will miss the IPL reboot due to the impending birth of his first child but has committed to Australia’s T20 World Cup tilt. Josh Hazlewood, Riley Meredith, Dan Christian, Moises Henriques, Mitch Marsh, Jason Behrendorff, Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye, and Josh Philippe are the players that hold IPL deals that were part of the squad that toured the Caribbean and Bangladesh.

Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Marsh, and Josh Philippe had opted out of the first stage of the IPL tournament midway that was held in India but is eligible to return to the rescheduled closing stages, although it has not yet been confirmed if they will.

Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins[photo: Twitter]

“If in case any player who was injured or unavailable during the India leg of IPL 2021 and is now fit or available then the franchise which had taken a replacement player … will need to elect (either) one of them,” IPL chief operating officer Hemang Amin told ESPN.

Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn and Ben Cutting – none of whom are in Cricket Australia’s plans or hold state contracts – are the other Aussies with IPL deals. Australia legend Ricky Ponting, who is also head coach of the Delhi Capitals IPL side, said the tournament was ideal preparation for the T20 World Cup.

“No doubt it’s their best preparation to be in those exact conditions, playing in probably the strongest domestic T20 tournament in the world,” Ponting said on SEN radio in conversation with Australia Test captain Tim Paine, who also endorsed the players going to the IPL.

“All the best players in the world will be there … and I’m not just saying it because I want some of the Australian players there at the Delhi Capitals. I’m not sure if they’ll be any restrictions on the bowlers going there, there may well be, but certainly the guys like Smith, Davey, Maxi, Stoinis who have been out of cricket for three or fourth months they need to get back into the groove.”

The T20 World Cup will begin with the qualifier rounds that will feature Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands, Scotland, Namibia, Oman, and Papua New Guinea. Australia has been drawn in Group 1 of the Super 12 stage with England, South Africa, and the West Indies, plus two teams from the qualifier round. India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan, and two qualifiers will be in the other Super 12 group.