Faf du Plessis
- Malan and Miller are available says Tournament Director
By Sa’adi Thawfeeq
Former South African captain Faf du Plessis and West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell have pulled out of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) for different reasons.
Du Plessis won’t be available as he will be representing his country South Africa in the T20I and ODI series against England that will run concurrently with the LPL. The white ball matches are from 27 November to 9 December. The LPL runs from 21 November to 14 December. Du Plessis is currently playing in the IPL for Chennai Super Kings.
Russell is unavailable because of an injury. Russell who is also part of the IPL, has not played a match for Kolkata Knight Riders since 18 October, after injuring his knee against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Both Du Plessis and Russell were picked by Colombo Kings, who will find it hard to replace the two in the LPL. To add to their woes, a third overseas player chosen by Colombo Kings, Indian wicketkeeper batsman Manvinder Bisla has also pulled out without providing a reason.
LPL Tournament Director Ravin Wickramaratne said, “You put your name in front and say that you are available and finally when you are selected, you say I am not coming because of personal reasons. You can’t stop these things.
“In the Player draft, every team was given two vacant positions; gold category and classic category, but now with the latest development of players going on national duty and being unavailable due to other reasons, we have given the franchisees to come back to us with a replacement by 1 November. Yesterday we sent them the options to select,” said Wickramaratne.
There were reports that England’s Dawid Malan and South Africa’s David Miller were also unavailable for the LPL, but Wickramaratne countered it by saying, “Dawid Malan and David Miller are still available, as they were not picked by their country. I got a mail from their managers saying that they are available for the LPL. Only Du Plessis, Russell who is injured and Bisla are out.”
Wickramaratne stated that the ICC has suggested to all franchisees to come in one flight to make it easy.
“If they can charter a flight from Dubai to Mattala, it will make it easy for everyone, because the cricket will be happening there. The players will be coming from Dubai and probably they will be trying to fly together. From Mattala, they go straight into a bubble to their hotel and then train from there at Hambantota, where the first segment of matches will be played and then travel to Kandy, Pallekele for the second segment of matches,” said Wickramaratne.
The players are due to arrive latest by 4 November, to enable them to undergo the 14-day quarantine period.
For players arriving late due to their commitment with the IPL, which ends on 10 November, Wickramaratne said as they are coming from bubble to bubble a quarantine of seven days will suffice.