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A very few England players take part in the Indian Premier League, and this time, owing to family commitments, their series against Australia, and injuries, some of them have pulled out entirely of the tournament, and the others would join their respective teams later.

The T20 and ODI series between England and Australia will only get over on September 16, three days after which IPL starts. “The English and Australian players will be competing against each other in a high-quality series right before the IPL which has many positives, the most important being it will enable them to be at full match fitness,” Rajasthan Royals COO Jake Lush McCrum had said (England, Australia players to be available from first IPL match: Rajasthan Royals COO- Times of India, 2020). They have the most number of English players in their team.

The players involved in the series will arrive in the UAE on the 17th, and if they are put in quarantine till the 22nd, they can miss the first game that their franchises play. “As per the protocol, the players will have to be under quarantine for six days and once they clear the tests, they will be allowed to train”, a team official said.

Kolkata Knight Riders seamer Harry Gurney was ruled out of the tournament due to a shoulder injury. He bagged the Man of the Match performance against the Rajasthan Royals last season, but KKR have options in Pat Cummins, Lockie Ferguson, and Kamlesh Nagarkoti among others. Tom Banton and Eoin Morgan would also join them, but Banton has not been at his best against Australia, and Morgan has dislocated a finger.

Harry Gurney during Caribbean Premier League 2019  England
Harry Gurney during Caribbean Premier League 2019 (Picture courtesy: Getty Images)

All-rounder Chris Woakes, who was bought by Delhi Capitals, pulled out of the tournament, saying that he “needed to recharge his batteries” (Sportstar 2020), focussing more on his national duties. Jason Roy has also opted out due to ‘personal reasons’.

Rajasthan Royals will miss its premier all-rounder Ben Stokes during the first part of the tournament as he is in New Zealand to be with his father, who is suffering from cancer. A source close to the team told PTI, Stokes has just completed his two weeks isolation in NZ.

Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, and Tom Curran will also join later, pertaining to the quarantine regulations. Considering the form that Buttler has been in, Royals will look forward to having him back as soon as possible. “We have an excellent and high-quality team with good depth and have the ability to have an extremely competitive team to deal with the absence of these players,” McCrum had said (ESPNCricinfo Staff, 2020).

Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler  England
Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler (Picture credits: Cricket Times)

Royal Challengers Bangalore chairman Sanjeev Churiwala said, “Barring English and Australian players, most of the players would be available on time for the games” (DNA Web Team, 2020). Moeen Ali of the team would also be subject to the quarantine restrictions. RCB plays their first match against Sunrisers Hyderabad, who would look forward to getting Jonny Bairstow batting for them. Kings XI Punjab will also need to wait for Chris Jordan.

As McCrum pointed out, the players coming in the back of the England-Australia series would definitely be in the flow of things, also taking into consideration that the English won the series 2-1. It would remain to be seen how much difference the England players bring to their respective sides once they join back.

Cover picture credits: Inside Sport