The MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings [CSK] were dealt with a severe body blow just days ahead of the 14th season of the Indian Premier League as Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood pulled out of the tournament citing bubble fatigue issues.
And, while they are yet to name Hazelewood’s replacement, the management has reportedly been taken aback by the sudden development as they were not prepared for it.
“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 was quoted as saying by Times of India.
Josh Hazlewood, on Thursday, released a statement in which he cited bubble fatigue issues and a grueling International schedule post the IPL as the reasons behind him pulling out of the 14th season.
“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.
CSK was hit by a similar situation last season when the duo of Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh pulled out days before the start of the tournament due to personal issues.
And, while they did not name their replacements back then, the management, as its CEO Kasi Viswanathan revealed, will announce the ideal replacement in the coming days.
”We haven’t decided any replacement for Hazlewood yet. We are yet to decide our way forward, and will make a decision in the coming days,” said CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan.
The 14th season of the IPL will commence from April 09 while CSK will begin their campaign against the Delhi Capitals in Mumbai on April 10.