A day before the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, England’s Mark Wood has withdrawn his name from IPL 2021 player list in order to spend time with his family at home. Wood was among the eight overseas players, who have the highest reserve price of Rs 2 crore. The 31-year-old Wood along with wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow just rejoined England in Chennai ahead of the third Test against India.
“The pair have rejoined the England men’s cricket team after time at home,” England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had said. The pair had also attended “their first training session after coming out of quarantine”. According to a news outlet, franchises were already informed at a briefing in Chennai that the pacer had decided to pull out of the auction. Thus, his name will not be part of any IPL 2021 teams.
Sixteen English players are expected to be in the auction, while another eight have been retained by their franchises. All the other players who have so far spent time away from the Test side, including Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran and Jonny Bairstow, played in the virus-hit IPL 13 that was held in UAE. These players are still expected to be featured in the upcoming edition.
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Wood’s decision comes in the wake of discussing England’s policy of resting players during their winter tours to Sri Lanka and India. Meanwhile, Moeen Ali, who will be rested for the final two Tests in India, is due to be in the auction. Earlier this week, coach Chris Silverwood apologized for the manner in which Moeen’s departure from the India tour was confirmed.
With the IPL 2021 preparations underway, the board is on the lookout for a new sponsor. According to reports, though the board is open to VIVO’s return as title sponsor, the current situation on the border seems not feasible for the Chinese mobile maker’s return. It means, the upcoming auction is likely to be held without a title sponsor as renewing of Dream11’s contract is still being discussed.
According to reports, the 14th edition of the IPL is slated to be held in its original April-May window. The venue and dates for IPL 2021 are however yet to be announced by BCCI. Earlier, a total of 139 players were retained while 57 were released ahead of the auction. Meanwhile, Kings XI Punjab have the biggest purse going into the IPL 2021 auction while Dehi Capitals have the lowest.
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