Former Indian opener-turned commentator, Aakash Chopra, has reckoned that IPL franchises like defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) and the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will be largely unaffected if English players do not participate during the second phase of IPL 2021.
The BCCI is mulling over conducting the remaining 31 games of the 14th season before the T20 World Cup but with English players set to lock horns against Bangladesh and Pakistan before the quadrennial event, the ECB has made it clear that none of its players will be allowed to skip international games for the IPL.
Chopra added that with Mumbai Indians (MI) not having any England player in their set-up, the five-time winners will not be affected by their absence.
“Mumbai Indians will not be bothered at all. They don’t have anyone. If you see their playing XI, they are not able to play even Nathan Coulter-Nile and Adam Milne, they play only one of them,” said Aakash Chopra.
“Jimmy Neesham and Trent Boult are from New Zealand. Kieron Pollard is West Indian, Quinton de Kock is South African, so they do not have any problem. So, Mumbai Indians will be absolutely unaffected,” added Chopra.
There are reports that even New Zealand cricketers may not be available for the rescheduled IPL and in that case, Mumbai Indians (MI) would be severely affected given the fact that they have the likes of Trent Boult and Adam Milne in their set-up.
The former opener further reckoned that much like MI, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will also be least affected if England players pull out of the competition.
Like MI, RCB also doesn’t have England players in their squad.
“RCB, they are also not affected. Because if you see their overseas players, most of them are from New Zealand or Australia. They have Maxwell and AB de Villiers. They have Daniel Sams and Daniel Christian, who are both Australians,” said Aakash Chopra.
Chopra further reckoned that the Australian players like Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa, who pulled out of the IPL due to covid-related concerns, may also become available for the second phase.
Adam Zampa will become available now. They had taken Scott Kuggeleijn if they don’t take him, then Kane Richardson – once again an Australian. They took a New Zealand batsman instead of Joshua Philippe. So overall, they are also not bothered,” concluded Aakash Chopra.