Australia paceman Josh Hazlewood has decided to opt out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and rest up for a crowded schedule of international cricket culminating with the Ashes at the end of the year.
The 30-year-old fast bowler was scheduled to play a second season for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, which is being played across six venues, initially without spectators, from April 9-May 30.
“It’s been a long 10 months in bubbles and quarantine at different times, so I decided to have a rest from cricket and spend some time at home and in Australia in the next two months,” Hazlewood told cricket.com.au.
‘Big winter ahead’
“We’ve got a big winter ahead too. The West Indies is going to be a long tour, with Bangladesh (T20 tour) potentially thrown on the end of that. Then potentially the T20 World Cup leading into the Ashes, so it’s a big 12 months … and I want to give myself the best chance to be mentally and physically ready for that. That’s the decision I’ve made, and it sits pretty well with me.”
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Hazlewood’s international team-mates, wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Philippe and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh, have also pulled out of this year’s IPL, both citing personal reasons for their decisions.
Australia is scheduled to play three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches in the West Indies in June and July before heading to Bangladesh in October for three warm-up matches ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup in India.
Afghanistan will play a one-off Test in Australia, postponed from last year, in November before the five-Test Ashes series against England around the New Year.