Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) speedster Pat Cummins has opted to sit out the balance of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season, which is due to restart in the UAE during the September-October window. Despite having a lucrative IPL contract of INR 15.5 crores, the Australian fast bowler will not participate in IPL Phase 2 owing to a hectic international cricket schedule. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has confirmed that the last 31 matches of the IPL 2021 season will be held in the United Arab Emirates.
This year, Australia has a busy international schedule, with travels to the West Indies and Bangladesh scheduled before the ICC T20 World Cup and the Ashes. In July, the Australian national cricket team will play 5 T20Is and 3 ODIs against the West Indies before flying to Bangladesh for a five-match T20I series in August. As a result, Cummins’ withdrawal from IPL Phase 2 in the UAE might be due to a full international calendar. Other Australian players are also expected to withdraw their names, citing bubble-fatigue and international cricket as their primary concerns, according to sources.
IPL 2021 in UAE
The primary stumbling block for the BCCI in organising the IPL 2021 Phase 2 in the UAE is the availability of overseas cricketers owing to the hectic international cricket schedule. England national players will not be released to play in the second leg of the IPL because they are due to play international cricket against Bangladesh and Pakistan during the September-October window, according to England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Director of Cricket Ashley Giles.
According to Cricbuzz, West Indies players would miss the remaining 31 IPL 2021 matches owing to their involvement in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2021 and the upcoming tri-series against Afghanistan and Australia immediately before the T20 World Cup.
“The availability of English and Australian cricketers is something that most of us are concerned about. If any players decide not to go for any reason, suitable substitutes would have to be found,” a source familiar with franchise development told the Times of India.