IPL 2021: COVID-19 adds to CSK’s woes as struggle to find Josh Hazlewood’s replacement continues

The likes of Billy Stanlake and Reece Topley have turned down offers from CSK. The reason is understood to be the second wave of COVID-19 in the country.

Josh Hazlewood
Josh Hazlewood

As the 14th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) draws closer, COVID-19 seems to be ruling supreme in the country. With three players already infected with the virus, franchises are slowly feeling the heat of the pandemic which is back with its second wave.

While the Chennai Super Kings‘ (CSK) bio-bubble is yet to see a positive case, they are struggling to find a replacement for Aussie quick Josh Hazlewood. Hazlewood pulled out of the league at the eleventh hour citing bubble fatigue. With the number of COVID cases rising in Mumbai, where the Super Kings are based this season, players are unwilling to come down.

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Meanwhile, a member of the CSK’s content team testing positive for the virus has raised concerns. The officials, though, insisted that it is a minor hiccup, the bubble wasn’t breached and the member didn’t come in contact with players.

Billy Stanlake and Reece Topley has turned down the offer from Chennai Super Kings

Billy Stanlake and Reece Topley
Billy Stanlake and Reece Topley

A TOI report suggests that Australia quick Billy Stanlake and England pacer Reece Topley both turned down offers from CSK. It is a huge surprise seeing the payers who are not regulars in their national side turning down offers from an IPL franchise. One of the major reasons behind this surprising call from players is definitely COVID-19.

Many of them have contracts with English county teams and the permissions aren’t forthcoming due to the rising number of Covid cases,” a source close to the developments told TOI. “We may have to go for a wildcard and may get one soon enough. But the problems do persist.”

With cases popping up in different franchises, CSK management must be on its toes now to avoid a situation like that of last season. IPL 2020 in UAE saw many players from the Yellow Army contract the virus. And it might as well be on of the reasons for their poor showing last season.

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