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Will Exodus of Foreign Players Hurt IPL Franchises?

As India witnesses an alarming surge of Covid-19 cases that is seeing more than 300,000 cases and 2,000 daily deaths, the country’s health system is being stretched apart. With the virus sweeping through every corner of the nation with devastating effects, the ongoing Indian Premier League 2021 has started experiencing tremors. There has been exodus of players in the past few days with several foreign players pulling out of the tournament fearing further surge of cases as experts predict peak in case load in May. Naturally this exodus of players has also turned the tables in the betting market and we are already seeing the impact on IPL Predictions.

Many nations have stopped their direct flights with India and also imposed strict quarantine norms for citizens returning from India. This has created doubts in the minds of several overseas players who have tours lined up with their national sides. English players who are due to take on New Zealand at home might miss out on the Test Match due to stricter quarantine periods imposed by the UK government and England’s rest-and-rotation policy amidst the pandemic to reduce fatigue and workload among players. This would be applicable to the players who are with franchises qualifying for the playoffs.

Aussie spinner Adam Zampa and fast bowler Kane Richardson who were a part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore have pulled out of the tournament. They are currently awaiting their return home after the Australian government decided to ban all direct flights. Though Richardson played only one game this season and Zampa none, their departure would hurt RCB’s prospects given the already poor bench strength the side has in its bowling department.

This exodus of players had started much earlier with Rajasthan Royals batsman Liam Livingstone pulling out of the tournament citing ‘bubble fatigue’. Though he hadn’t played a game for the side it was a big blow to the franchise as their other overseas opener Jos Buttler hasn’t been in the best of form and the franchise is left with little options in the opener’s slot with Ben Stokes already having been ruled out due to injury. Andrew Tye too had pulled out of the tournament and this has hurt the side in its depleted bowling arsenal.

There were news reports of Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper David Warner and Delhi Capitals’ Steven Smith leaving the tournament but there has been no confirmation on these reports till now. Indian spinners and Delhi Capitals’ Ravichandran Ashwin has already pulled out of the remaining leg of the tournament to be with his family as his city is struggling with thousands of daily cases. Ashwin had done well in the five games he played for the side.

The daily case load is showing no respite at the moment and it would be few weeks before India starts seeing a downward curve. Though the BCCI has clearly stated that the IPL would go on despite the increased curve reassuring the players that they are safe inside the ‘bio-bubble’, overseas players would have to surely fight the mental battle given the current circumstances. Player performances might start to get affected if the situation further worsens and franchises such as the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals are likely to face the heat and this might alter the IPL Predictions in the coming days.

The participation of overseas players and those who are the best in business has been one of the reasons behind the success of the IPL and over the years this has added to the fun and competition on the park. These players pulling out of the tournament midway would surely dent the attraction of IPL 2021. We have already witnessed the Pakistan Super League 2021 being suspended midway after team staff had tested positive earlier in the year and IPL currently hangs in balance.

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