The absence of several overseas players from the remainder of IPL 2021, to be held in the UAE from September 19 to October 2015, has seen franchises sign up some new faces to the lucrative league.
With England’s white-ball superstar Jos Buttler withdrawing from IPL 2021 as he and his wife expect the birth of their second child, Rajasthan Royals have named New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman Glenn Phillips for the second half of the tournament.
Elsewhere, the biggest benefactors of Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Australian contingent of Adam Zampa, Daniel Sams and Kane Richardson and New Zealanders Finn Allen and Scott Kuggeleijn withdrawing from the remainder of IPL 2021 are the Sri Lankan pair of Wanindu Hasaranga and Dushmantha Chameera, uncapped Australian allrounder Tim David and young English left-arm pace bowler George Garton.
And fast bowler Nathan Ellis, who earlier this month became the first bowler to claim a hat-trick on T20I debut, has won a contract with Punjab Kings.
The biggest of these signings, each of whom has yet to play in the IPL, is Phillips. He brings to Rajasthan, who will be without their hugely influential English trio of Buttler, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer, a career T20 aggregate of 3744 runs at a strike-rate of 143.28. In T20Is for New Zealand, Phillips has tallied 506 runs at a strike-rate of 149.70, including the fastest century off 46 balls.
Singapore-born David, 25, is coming off a successful summer in England. He helped Surrey reach the semi-finals of the Royal London One-Day Cup with 340 runs at a strike-rate of 150.44, and then slipped into T20 mode during the final of the inaugural Hundred competition by hitting 15 off six balls as his franchise Southern Brave defeated Birmingham Phoenix.
Earlier in 2021, David made 279 runs in Australia’s Big Bash League at an average of 31 and strike-rate of 153.29, batting in the middle order. He has also played T20 franchise cricket for Lahore Qalandars during this year’s Pakistan Super League, where he made 180 runs at an average of 45 and strike-rate of 166.66.
The all-sorts spinner Hasaranga is ranked second in the men’s T20I allrounder rankings by the ICC, and recently starred for Sri Lanka as they beat a depleted Indian side 2-1 in a home series. Against an Indian team missing eight first-choice players after the allrounder Krunal Pandya’s positive COVID-19 test, Sri Lanka won the second and third T20Is. In the decider, Hasaranga had a birthday to remember, taking 4/9 as India were kept to 81/8 in their 20 overs.
His Sri Lanka team-mate Chameera brings to RCB the experience of 60 T20 matches from which he has 72 wickets.
In August, during Australia’s torrid T20I tour of Bangladesh, Ellis proved one of the few bright spots when on debut, he became the first man to take a hat-trick in his first game, hardly 90 minutes after being presented with his maiden Australia cap.
Garton, the Sussex left-arm seamer, earned selection in England’s ODI squad this summer after an injury to Olly Stone. He took eight wickets in six domestic one-day games this season and ten from nine appearances for Southern Brave as they marched to the Hundred title.
Thirty-one matches remain to be played in the tournament, which was suspended in early May following a number of COVID cases.