Ever since the final Test between India and England in Manchester got canceled due to COVID-19 outbreak in the Indian camp, the concerns regarding the coronavirus have popped up once again. Many players had withdraw from the first phase of IPL 2021 citing similar concerns and it looks like a repetition of the unfortunate sequence of events, ahead of second phase of the tournament which is set to take place in UAE.
As per reports in the English media, the trio of Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan and Chris Woakes have pulled out of UAE leg of IPL 2021. All the three cricketers played in the 4th Test against India at the Oval, during which the news of Indian support staff contracting the virus had emerged. Cricket correspondents Ali Martin (The Guardian) and Nick Hoult (The Telegraph) also shared the same piece of information via their respective Twitter accounts.
Big setback for SRH, PBKS and DC
The unavailability of the English trio will cause a huge setback to their respective franchises who will have to alter their plans for the second phase of the season. Jonny Bairstow was one of the only few players for Sunrisers Hyderabad who looked in good touch in first half of IPL 2021. The wicketkeeper batsman scored 248 runs in 7 matches at a strike-rate of 142.19 and if the reports are true, he is going to be a huge miss for SRH.
As per Yorkshire CCC, Malan is available for their next county game which confirms that he is not going to travel to UAE for IPL 2021. "Dawid Malan is available to play following the cancellation of the fifth LV= Insurance Test Match between England and India," Yorkshire stated on their official website. Although the left-handed batsman played only one match for Punjab Kings earlier this season, he was expected to play a big role for them in second half considering the fact that he looked in good touch in Tests against India.
Talking about Chris Woakes, the English all-rounder would be a huge miss for Delhi Capitals as he is a vital asset for any team with both bat and ball. Woakes had played only 3 matches in first phase of the tournament, where he had taken 5 wickets in addition to one 15-run cameo with the bat. DC, who are one of the title contenders this season, will certainly be impacted with the absence of such an experienced player for the final half of the tournament.
If the reports are indeed true, it is definitely going to have a huge impact on remainder of the season which might put doubts in minds of other overseas players as well.