Ashes bound England players – Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes, Dawid Malan, Jos Buttler, have reportedly pulled out of the second leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Buttler had already made himself unavailable for the IPL but the other players were expected to feature in the T20 extravaganza. Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, George Garton, Eoin Morgan, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Liam Livingstone and Jason Roy still are expected to participate in the IPL.
Earlier in the day, reports emerged that England players are not happy with the 5th Test being cancelled and may pull out of the IPL. However, it’s still not confirmed if that is the reason behind their decision. Stern COVID-19 protocols could also have prompted them to skip the tournament. All these players will be part of the T20 World Cup squad and the Ashes, which would mean around 4 months of strict bio-bubble life.
England's Ashes players pull out of IPL – Bairstow, Woakes, Malan, Buttler.
Only Moeen from the rest going back to IPL likely to be in Australia
— Nick Hoult (@NHoultCricket) September 11, 2021
Meanwhile, the UK bound players ( both India and England) will have to undergo six days of quarantine upon arrival in UAE. The BCCI had earlier prepared for the bubble to bubble transfer of the players, but with a string of COVID-19 cases in the Indian contingent, the board decided to play safe and mandated the franchise to ensure hard quarantine of the players.
The second leg of the IPL gets underway on September 19, with Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings clashing in the opening encounter. Several Indian players are likely to depart for the UAE today. The franchises have arranged charter flights for their players. Virat Kohli and Mohammed Siraj will leave the UK shores tonight while CSK players -Shardul Thakur, Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Cheteshwar Pujara will depart tomorrow. Mumbai Indians players Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bunrah have already reached Dubai.