Even though India continued its struggle to restrain the fatal second wave of COVID-19, the 14th edition of Indian Premier League was going smoothly until Sunday. Questions were already being asked before IPL moved to its second phase venues that is Delhi and Ahmedabad, but it never proved to be the hurdle for the mega event. Moreover, Delhi is one place where the daily number of cases is already over 18,000 along with 400+ deaths. Despite all the tension, IPL authorities went ahead and hosted matches in the state with 4 games yet to be played.
Everything was hunky-dory in the tournament until May 3 when two players of KKR tested positive and later 5 DDCA ground staff also found to be infected with the virus. Things changed down in span of hours and suddenly the fear fear of uncertainly started looming as the KKR vs RCB clash set to be held on the day got cancelled.
Gazing at the prevailing situation in India, the Australian government had threatened its players and other participating members with a hefty fine or 5-year jail term. Barring its citizens from entering the country if they happened to be in India within 14 days of their intended arrival.
Past week 3 Aussie players Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson and Andrew Tye flew back to their home due to COVID-19 scare. However, given the current situation, some more players may opt out of the ongoing season. Here are 5 players who might opt out of IPL 2021 —
1. Harbhajan Singh
When Harbhajan was asked about the reasons behind not playing the IPL last year. He stated that he wanted to stay and support his family in the problematic pandemic situation. This year also he can withdraw as he has played just 3 matches for KKR and bowled only 7 overs without taking any wicket. Meanwhile, Bhajji does not seem to be in contention to play any more games.
2. Shakib Al-Hasan
Another player from KKR could be Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan. Bangladesh Health Ministry could change quarantine rules for people coming from India. Earlier it was 3 days which might be switched to 7-14 days of quarantine. Notably, he has to join the squad for the side's upcoming ODI series against Sri Lanka on 23rd May. Shakib has played 3 matches and his performance has not been up to the mark. He scored only 38 runs and got 2 wickets after bowling 10 overs in total.
3. Mustafizur Rahman
Rajasthan Royals is already struggling with their overseas reserve list. And soon, they might get a headache if Mustafizur is called in early to join his national team along with Shakib. He has 8 scalps in 7 matches for his side at an economy rate of 8.29. And in the recent matches, he seems to have gained the momentum he was looking for. However, RR might not able be able to use his services in the upcoming games in case he opts to pull out of the ongoing IPL.
4. Ben Cutting
Another Aussie player can join the likes of Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson and might withdraw from IPL 2021. The 75 lakh worth bowling all-rounder hasn’t got a break in the IPL since the year 2019. Even after the poor run of KKR, he hasn't been able to get a place in the playing XI. Given the side already have the quality all-rounders- Andre Russell, Sunil Narine Pat Cummins, Cutting might prefer to leave the ongoing edition and stay with his family in these tough times.
5. David Warner
David Warner is going through a rough patch. He failed as a captain this year (lost 5 matches for SRH), and the player of his calibre has scored only 192 runs in 6 games at an average of 32.16. A few days ago, he was sacked from the the captaincy role and was eventually dropped from the playing XI as well.
And keeping in mind the attitude of the Australian government, Warner could also leave before the end of the season.