Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have roped in New Zealand’s uncapped wicketkeeper-batsman Finn Allen as a replacement for Josh Philippe who will be missing this year’s IPL due to personal reasons.
RCB had bought Philippe at IPL 2020 auction for the base prize of INR 20 lakhs, but due to his unavailability for the forthcoming season, the team has now signed Allen in a like for like swap as he can open the batting and also keep wickets if required.
“The RCB Management is disappointed to lose a player of Josh’s calibre for this IPL season, but at the same time we fully understand, respect and support his decision of excluding himself from the tournament,” the franchise said in a statement.
“We had to select the next best option from the list of players registered for the IPL Auction, at the same base price as Josh (20 Lakh). We spent a great amount of time working through that potential list and have selected Finn Allen as a top-order batting replacement.”
Why Finn Allen got RCB’s nod among potential replacements?
Range of shots 🔥
— Times of Sports (@timesofsports) March 10, 2021
Originally from Auckland, 21-year-old Allen moved to Wellington at the beginning of the 2020-21 domestic season. He went on to enjoy a breakout Super Smash T20 tournament, scoring 512 runs at an astonishing strike-rate of 194 in team Firebirds’ title-winning campaign. Allen smashed 25 sixes in the competition, the most by anyone, and showed a great range of strokes across the playing field.
Going to the IPL would be pretty amazing: Finn Allen
Just a day before the Super Smash final, Allen had said it would be a dream come true to feature in the IPL, although he was carrying no expectations of a bid.
“For me, there are no expectations. It has kind of always been that way for me – I’m just going out there and enjoying what I am doing. Just trying to win the title for Wellington, and if more than that comes out of it, it would be awesome,” Allen had told ESPNcricinfo.
“Obviously going to the IPL would be pretty amazing – that’s almost my dream for a long time now, so yeah hopefully get lucky and get picked up. But, obviously no expectations, and if it doesn’t happen, there’s always the future.”
For his role in Wellington’s success, Allen was rewarded with a call-up to New Zealand’s T20I squad for the Australia series, albeit only as cover for experienced opener Martin Guptill. Allen soon rejoined Wellington after Guptill cleared his fitness test and continued his rich vein of form. He scored his maiden List A hundred against Otago, reaching there in just 50 balls and equalling Peter Fulton in the list of New Zealand batsmen with the fastest century in the format.
Finn Allen brings up his first hundred for @cricketwgtninc in 50 balls. Yes 50 balls. 8 fours and 8 sixes at the @BasinReserve against the @OtagoVolts. Watch play LIVE here | https://t.co/dLqbBQMOYG #FordTrophy pic.twitter.com/FBcYfOAjwR
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) February 28, 2021
Mike Hesson, the RCB director of cricket, had been closely following the Kiwi domestic season and he was impressed with Allen’s “exceptional” ball-striking. With Philippe’s exit providing an opening, it shouldn’t be a massive surprise then that Hesson & co went with Allen.
After bagging his maiden IPL deal, Allen might be unavailable for the three-match T20I series versus Bangladesh, starting March 28. The IPL 2021, where RCB play their games in Chennai, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Kolkata, is scheduled to kickstart on April 9. They’ve already begun their pre-season camp in Bangalore.
Also Read: IPL 2021 Auction | Complete Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) Squad And Final List Of Players
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