Australian left-arm seamer Jason Behrendorff has replaced fellow countryman and quick Josh Hazlewood in Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) squad ahead of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), starting April 9.
CSK confirmed the development, clearing the air on Hazlewood’s unavailability after reports of Billy Stanlake and Reece Topley rejecting the franchise’s proposal did the rounds recently.
Hazlewood had opted out of IPL 2021 at the last minute citing potential bio-bubble fatigue, having spent time in a restrictive environment in recent months with the Australian team. He wanted to avoid physical and mental strain before the upcoming international assignments.
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 9, 2021
“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 had told 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.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) sign Jason Behrendorff as Josh Hazlewood’s replacement for IPL 2021
Plagued by injuries in his career, 30-year-old Behrendorff has played 11 ODIs and 7 T20Is for Australia at the international level. He made his IPL debut back in 2019 for Mumbai Indians (MI) and played 5 matches in the season, taking five wickets and going for 8.68 runs per over.
Behrendorff could prove a valuable addition to the CSK set-up and bolster their pace unit, as the franchise won’t get to play any games in their preferred, spin-friendly home venue at Chepauk this IPL season.
The IPL 2021 will be following a caravan system in order to limit travel and avoid potential coronavirus spread. All eight teams will be playing their 14 league matches at neutral venues across the country.
Three-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will begin their campaign on Saturday (April 10) in Mumbai versus last year’s runners-up Delhi Capitals (DC).