Sri Lanka all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga has opted out of the forthcoming Caribbean Premier League 2021. Although the 24-year-old was picked by St Kitts and Nevis Patriots during the Player Draft held in May, Hasaranga has told the CPL organisers that he won't be available for the tournament. It is being learned that while the franchise-based T20 league is set to be held between August 26 and September 15, Hasaranga will not feature in the same owing to international duties for the series against South Africa.
With Hasaranga, the ICC number 2 ranked T20I bowler pulling out, Thisara Perera and Isuru Udana remain the only Sri Lankan players set to participate in the league. While Perara will play for Barbados Royals (Formally known as Barbados Tridents), Udana will don the Trinbago Knight Riders colours this season. Both Perera and Udana announced their retirement from international cricket earlier this year.
Meanwhile, earlier reports had emerged that Hasaranga is likely to be roped by the Royal Challengers Bangalore as a replacement for Adam Zampa. While Zampa was part of the Bangalore squad in the first half of the 2021 season, he had pulled out mid-way citing personal reasons and his availability for the remainder of the tournament remains in doubt. However, with the second half of IPL 2021 set to be staged in UAE, where spinners are likely to play a more significant role, the management is looking at Hasaranga as a replacement.
Playing Hasaranga in the XI won't be easy for a franchise: Muralitharan
Even Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan was confident about Hasaranga's chances of featuring in the Indian Premier League especially after he was the stand-out performer in the limited-overs series against India.
“An IPL franchise should look at him. But the problem is if it’s a local player, he walks into the side. But if it’s a foreign player, you have to see which franchise wants a foreign spinner. It’s a tricky thing. They will buy him [Hasaranga] but playing him is something that will not be easy for a franchise. Some franchises look mostly at Indian spinners rather than foreign spinners,” Murali said while speaking to ESPNCricinfo.
Although there are reports that RCB has approached BCCI asking Hasaranga to be a replacement for Zampa, there has been no official confirmation from the franchise.