The Indian Premier League (IPL) season is well underway, but several franchises are missing some of their key players this year. A few players have pulled out out of the cash-rich league, citing bubble fatigue, whereas, some have been unfortunate to miss out due to injury.
Amidst the global pandemic, BCCI has managed to hold the tournament twice in a span of just over six months. A few players have missed the initial few games of the season because they have tested positive for the deadly virus. Amongst all franchises, Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals seem to be the most affected, as they have lost their captain and marquee player respectively.
Players missing in action this season are-
Ben Stokes – Rajasthan Royals
Ben Stokes was ruled out of the remainder of the IPL season, after he injured his finger in Rajasthan’s first game against Punjab Kings. The English all-rounder will fly back to his home country, where he will undergo a surgery on 19th April. Stokes’ absence is a huge blow to the franchise, given that he was one of the only few match-winners they possessed. Moreover, the all-rounder was tasked with the duty of opening the innings this season, which has led to RR searching for other options.
Jofra Archer – Rajasthan Royals
Jofra Archer’s participation in IPL has been delayed after he underwent a finger injury on March 29. However, in some good news for the RR fans, the English pacer is expected to be fit soon, and can feature in the match against Chennai Super Kings. Archer won the award for the most valuable player last season, after his incredible performances with the ball.
Liam Livingstone – Rajasthan Royals
Liam Livingstone has flown back home late last night, due to bubble fatigue accumulated over the past year. We understand and respect his decision, and will continue supporting him in any way we can.#RoyalsFamily pic.twitter.com/stYywf3tBW
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) April 20, 2021
Liam Livingstone has withdrawn from the Rajasthan squad, citing bubble fatigue. The Englishman’s decision to pull out from IPL, came on Tuesday after he revealed the mental toll, the bubble life had taken on him. Livingstone is a well-reputed T20 player, having attained much success in domestic leagues over the world. However, he had failed to play a single match so far this season.
Shreyas Iyer – Delhi Capitals
Shreyas Iyer, captain of Delhi Capitals was ruled out of the tournament after he picked up a shoulder injury in the first ODI against England. It was a major blow for the runner-ups of the last edition, as the franchise had to make late adjustments to it’s strategy. Rishabh Pant was appointed as the captain of the franchise, on the back of his impressive performances for India, spread across all three formats.
Axar Patel – Delhi Capitals
Axar Patel had tested positive for the coronavirus just a week prior to DC’s first game against Chennai Super Kings. Although, his isolation period is over, yet there have been no updates as to his return. Axar Patel did not feature in Delhi’s win over Mumbai Indians on Tuesday, but he is expected to join the squad soon. Shams Mulani has been brought in as a short-term replacement for Axar Patel.
Anrich Nortje – Delhi Capitals
Anrich Nortje is another Delhi Capitals’ player who has missed the initial part of the season, after testing positive for covid-19. Nortje was bound to miss the first game of the season, as he returned from his international duty. However, after the end of his quarantine period, he had tested positive for the virus, which meant that he would miss a few more games. The South African speedster formed a lethal partnership with Kagiso Rabada last season, and is expected to feature soon.
Mitchell Marsh – Sunrisers Hyderabad
Mitchell Marsh had pulled out of the IPL 2021 season, citing bubble fatigue. The Australian could have been an integral part of Sunrisers’ plans for this season, given their middle-order struggles so far. However, SRH wasted no time in recruiting his replacement as they added Jason Roy to their squad.