The England and India players were supposed to fly to the UAE from Manchester together in a bubble-to-bubble transfer, but COVID-19 cases in the visitor’s camp forced IPL teams to make their own arrangements. All players arriving in the UAE now have to undergo a six-day quarantine and that could be the reason behind Bairstow and Malan pulling out.
“They won’t be boarding the flight to the UAE. One of the reasons for their pull out is the six-day quarantine, which they didn’t need to do earlier,” said a BCCI official.
While Bairstow is a regular in the Sunrisers line-up, World No.1 T20I batsman Malan made his IPL debut for Kings earlier this year. South African Aiden Markram has been named his replacement. “Malan will be taking some time off to be with his family ahead of the T20 World Cup and the Ashes,” tweeted Kings. Bairstow had made 248 runs at a strike rate of 141 plus in seven games earlier in IPL 2021.
West Indies all-rounder Sherfane Rutherford has been roped in as the replacement by the franchise.
The trio of Bairstow, Malan and Woakes was a part of England’s Test squad in Manchester. Bubble life has taken a toll on players and with the T20 World Cup to follow in the UAE, not playing the IPL would allow more family time for Bairstow, Malan and Woakes.