Quinton De Kock, the premier South African wicketkeeper-batsman, could be missing the opening encounter of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 scheduled for April 9.
De Kock might not be available to take part in defending champions Mumbai Indians’ (MI) campaign opener against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Chennai due to quarantine hurdles.
The experienced left-hand batsman and gloveman has been selected to play the three-match ODI series against Pakistan which will kick-off on Friday (April 2) in Centurion. Johannesburg and Centurion will be hosting the 2nd and the 3rd ODIs of the series on April 4 and 7, respectively.
Due to national duties, De Kock will be able to join the Mumbai Indians camp for IPL 2021 just in time for the competition. Cricket South Africa (CSA) has allowed all its IPL-bound players to fly across to the Indian shores after the second Pakistan ODI but de Kock will have to undergo a 7-day quarantine post his arrival in case MI fail to arrange a chartered flight for him.
According to the BCCI’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) designed for the safe conduct of IPL 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, players must be transferred from one bubble to the other and be flown in chartered flights if they are to avoid the mandatory isolation period.
In case a foreign player arrives in a business flight from somewhere outside a bio-secure bubble, he will have to serve the necessary quarantine before being allowed to enter his IPL team’s bubble.
And so if MI don’t arrange a chartered flight for De Kock’s arrival, the five-time IPL winners will lose him to the protocols for a period including the opening match versus RCB.
De Kock’s absence from IPL 2021 opener could be a big blow to Mumbai Indians (MI)
Mumbai Indians wouldn’t want to lose their first-choice keeper and opening batsman to quarantine, even if is for one game. De Kock was integral to MI’s successful IPL campaign in UAE last year. The left-handed batsman scored 503 runs from his 16 innings in IPL 2020, at an average of 35.92 and strike-rate of 140.50.
Being a gloveman who bats at the top, de Kock adds immensely to the balance of the playing XI. Thus, the defending champions wouldn’t want to lose a player of such importance for the start of IPL 2021. A good beginning will boost Mumbai Indians’ morale and will give them the momentum to go deeper into the competition.
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