Former Kolkata Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik has informed that ace speedster Pat Cummins would be unavailable for the second half of the IPL 2021 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The tournament was postponed midway on May 4th due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases within the bio-bubble. However, the BCCI have confirmed that phase two will be held in UAE between September and October.
Unfortunately, due to international commitments, the availability of overseas players in the IPL 2021 is in jeopardy. Many franchises have already been startled by the England Cricket Board’s (ECB) announcement that its centrally-contracted England players will not compete in the remainder of the IPL 2021.
Now, Karthik has also confirmed that Cummins has also informed him about his unavailability. Karthik has also indicated that if Eoin Morgan is unable to feature in the UAE leg of the IPL, he is willing to take over as captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders.
“Pat Cummins has himself said that he will not come. But when it comes to Eoin Morgan, there are still three months to go. A lot can change from now till September. But if I am asked to lead, I will be ready for it,” said Dinesh Karthik in an interview with The Times of India.
Pat Cummins’ unavailability will be a major blow for KKR
Cummins’ absence will be a major blow to the Kolkata Knight Riders. The Australian pacer took nine wickets and scored 93 runs in seven games, including a quickfire half-century. However, he was unable to oversee his team’s progress as they lie in seventh place in the points table with only two victories from seven games.
Lockie Ferguson is most likely to feature in place of Cummins but KKR management might still look for potential replacements for the Australian ahead of the IPL 2021. The unavailability of Cummins would also bring an additional responsibility on the likes of young Indian pacers such as Prasidh Krishna, Shivam Mavi, and Kamlesh Nagarkoti.