Mumbai Indians all-rounder James Neesham says the thought of pulling out from the IPL 2021 and leaving India never crossed his mind, despite the rising Covid-19 cases in the country.
While few players – Liam Livingstone, Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson, and Adam Zampa – withdrew themselves from the season mid-way, and Josh Hazlewood even before the tournament began, not a single player from the Mumbai Indians made themselves unavailable.
I would sign up again: James Neesham
James Neesham, who was roped in for his base price of INR 50 Lakhs in the February auction, said he made a commitment to come to India and play in the IPL, knowing the concerning covid situation in the country, which he feels escalated quicker than anyone anticipated.
The 30-year-old Kiwi won’t have any issues in returning to play in the IPL again. The family-like hospitality of the MI owners, the Ambani family, is well known – the franchise rented a beach in Chennai exclusive for their players to relax; they also sent their private charter flights to drop off not only their players but also offered the service to other franchise cricketers as well.
“For me, I signed up for the IPL knowing what it might be like. I felt like it was an obligation – I made the commitment to go and never had any thoughts of pulling out individually before the tournament finished,” James Neesham told Newshub.
“I would sign up again, especially once vaccinations start rolling out. I don’t think anyone really predicted how quickly it would all come crashing down over there and how quickly we would be on the first plane out,” he added.
James Neesham, who is currently in quarantine after having reached New Zealand, featured in one match – against the Chennai Super Kings.
While the all-rounder individually had a forgettable outing as he got out for a first-ball duck after conceding 26 runs from his two overs with the ball. But the match was made memorable by Kieron Pollard, who smashed 87 runs off 34 balls helping Mumbai chase 219 on the last ball.