The multi-million dollar Indian Premier League (IPL), which has been marred by controversies and player injuries, suffered another blow following the ghastly attack on New Zealand player Jesse Rdyer.
Delhi Daredevils player Jesse Ryder on Wednesday was assaulted during a night-out in Christchurch, New Zealand, that left him with a fractured skull. Ryder was rushed to a hospital where he is in an induced coma.
Rdyer, who was auctioned for US$260,000 by Delhi Daredevils, was due to join his new franchise later this week to play in IPL 6. With the Kiwi player in critical condition, it is highly unlikely that he would be able to play in the IPL which is scheduled to begin on 3 April in Kolkata. This is another setback for Delhi Daredevils which has already lost its leading batsman Kevin Pietersen, who was ruled out of IPL over an old knee injury.
Even before the start of its campaign, the IPL has been facing issues of player injuries and controversies involving the participation of Sri Lankan cricketers in matches to be played in Chennai.
In the wake of the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa refused to host the Sri Lankan players in Chennai. This led to the IPL governing council's move to disallow Sri Lanka players from playing matches in Chennai, citing security concerns.
The decision could take a toll on cricketers as well as the franchisees who have bid for the Lankan players. Of the nine IPL teams, eight teams have Sri Lankan players.
The players are: Lasith Malinga in Mumbai Indians, Akila Dananjaya and Nuwan Kulasekara in Chennai Super Kings, Kusal Janith Perera in Rajasthan Royals, Jeevan Mendis and Mahela Jayawardene in Delhi Daredevils, Sachithra Senanayake in Kolkata Knight Riders, Muttiah Muralitharan and Tillakaratne Dilshan in Royal Challengers, Ajantha Mendis and Angelo Mathews in Pune Warriors, Kumar Sangakkara and Thisara Perera in Sunrisers Hyderabad.
A total of 10 matches which are scheduled to take place in Chennai will be missed out by all the Lankan players.
Injuries Plaguing Cricket Players
Besides the SL players, some of the Indian and foreign players are likely to miss out on a few matches owing to injuries. Australian cricketer Michael Clarke, captain of Pune Warriors, has been ruled out of IPL following a lower back injury. He has been advised to take rest for at least seven weeks, which means that the Pune Warriors have to search for a new captain.
Cricketer Shikhar Dhawan, the first Indian to make highest runs on Test debut, will be missing out on the action with Sunrisers Hyderabad. He has been advised to take rest for six weeks after he sustained a fracture in his left hand during the Mohali Test against Australia. This would be a big blow for the Sunrisers franchise which is making its debut in this year's IPL.
Another star batsman who will be missing out on few matches will be South African player Faf du Plessis. Chennai Super Kings player Du Plessis, who has been diagnosed with bony inflammation in the lumbar spine, will miss at least nine matches in the IPL.
Royal Challengers player Cheteshwar Pujara, who sustained an injury in his right index finger, during the final Test match in Delhi, is doubtful to play the first four matches for RCB.