Josh Hazlewood unavailable till May due to personal reasons

Josh Hazlewood is among the players widely expected to trigger a bidding war among the franchises heading into the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 Player Auction, which takes place in Dubai on Tuesday.

The pacer, after all, was part of Australia’s successful ICC World Cup campaign and was especially effective in the business end of the tournament against South Africa and India respectively.

According to the latest update, however, Hazlewood is expected to not be available in the IPL before May. The update comes less than 24 hours before the franchises begin their mad shopping spree at the Coca-Cola Arena, and is likely to affect the interest of franchise owners in the 32-year-old.

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As per an intimation from the BCCI to the teams, Hazlewood will be away in March and April as the pacer and his wife are expecting their first child. The pacer, who was released by the Royal Challengers Bangalore, has been bracketed in the top-of-the-line Rs 2 crore base price category.

However, a report in ESPNCricinfo said that all the other Aussies players including World Cup hero Travis Head will be available for the entire duration of the IPL.

Experienced Bangladesh left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman will only be available for the period between March 22 and May 11.

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However, fast bowlers Taskin Ahmed and Shoriful Islam will be unavailable for next year’s IPL as they are expected to feature in Bangladesh XI in the home series against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe between March and April.

Lankan spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, who was released by RCB, and pacer Dushmantha Chameera, who was let go by Lucknow Super Giants, will be available for the duration of the IPL as they are not in the Test scheme of things of the Island nation.

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The other Lankan players, who are part of the Test squad, will be available after the series against Bangladesh which ends on 3 April, if they are bought in the auction.

However, young England leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed, who has a base price of Rs 50 lakh, has withdrawn from the auction.

The 19-year-old will fly back home after the five-match Test series against India.

Other England players in the IPL will be strictly monitored by the ECB managing director Rob Key in view of the T20 World Cup that starts in the West Indies and the USA in the immediate aftermath of the IPL 2024.

Harry Brook, Adil Rashid, Chris Woakes and Phil Salt are some of the high-profile England players in the auction pool.

With inputs from PTI

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