Chennai Super Kings’ batsman Faf du Plessis is all set to miss the initial phase of IPL 2019 due to international commitments. The upcoming season of the T20 tournament kicks off on March 23 – Chennai Super Kings will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in tournament opener – while South Africa host Sri Lanka in the third and the final T20I of the series on March 24.
This clearly means that Plessis will not be part of CSK squad in the opening game of the season. Even if he is rested for the T20I series, Plessis might not fly to India.
South Africa are yet to announce their squad for the limited-overs series. Plessis is expected to play the T20I format as he had been given a rest against Pakistan.
Plessis was retained by CSK by the use of RTM card for an amount of Rs 1.60 Crore. He played just six games for the franchise in which he scored 162 runs.
His best knock came in the first Qualifier where Plessis scored 67* off 42 in the chase to a target of 140 against Sunrisers Hyderabad. His heroics also saw him being adjudged as Man of the Match.
South Africa do not play any international match after March 24, hence, their players might have an extended stay in IPL unlike the players from Australia, who will leave the tournament before May 1.
Apart from Plessis, other South African players who will be missing initial phase of IPL are Imran Tahir (CSK), David Miller (Kings XI Punjab), Heinrich Klaasen (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Chris Morris (Delhi Capitals).
Just like Plessis, Tahir was also purchased by CSK in the mega-auction while KXIP used their RTM card on Miller. Klaasen was purchased by RCB at his base price of Rs 50 Lakh by RCB. Morris was one of the three players to be retained by Delhi Capitals for IPL 2018.
For now, BCCI has only confirmed the fixtures for first two weeks of IPL and the complete schedule will be out after the dates of general elections are announced.
CSK will go in as the defending champions as they defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final of IPL 2018.