IPL loses sheen, top India stars non-starter



NO VIRAT. NO RAHUL. NO ASHWIN. NO M VIJAY. NO JADEJA & NO UMESH YADAV. It’s official now. BCCI has confirmed the top stars will be out of action as the first ball in the Indian Premier League 2017 rolls down on Wednesday next. Four days’ time from now.

InsideSport has reported two days back, on March 30, about the non-availability of top players.

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The BCCI has made an official Press release on Saturday to confirm the medical status of top players. The BCCI medical team on Friday has released an update on the fitness status of some of the players at the end of India’s successful international home season 2016-17. Indian team’s success may not become a fear of failure for many IPL franchisees as their best players will be out of action.

The release adds, captain Kohli will undergo rehabilitation after sustaining an injury to his right shoulder. His recovery will be assessed in the second week of April to determine an exact return to play date for IPL.

The only good news is for the Mumbai camp. Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya have been declared fit to play competitive cricket. Both are available for selection for teams opening match against Rising Pune Supergiants on April 6.

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But, Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore have a double burden on its shoulders. Opener K Lokesh Rahul is likely to undergo surgery of his left shoulder and may not be available for IPL 2017 season during which he will have to complete his rehabilitation.

Pune Supergiants’ all-rounder R Ashwin has reported groin pain and has been advised 6-8 weeks of rehabilitation, which he will undergo and will not be available for the entire season.

Indian and Kings XI Punjab opener Murali Vijay will require surgery to his right wrist and also undergo rehabilitation for his left shoulder. There is no scope for the reliable opener to join action during IPL 10. The two most impactful bowlers during the Test series against Australia – Ravindra Jadeja and Umesh Yadav – too will need at least two weeks’ time to make some impact in IPL. Both need time to recuperate from injuries and have been ruled out for the first two weeks of the league. Jadeja has issues with the spinning finger Yadav has right hip and lower back soreness. They will recover during the initial phase when their respective teams will play their first and second match of IPL 2017.

Add to this the list of foreign stars. Mitchel Starc of RCB, Quinton de Cock and JP Duminy form the Delhi Daredevils camp, Mustafizur Rehman, who had played a crucial role in Sunrisers Hyderabad’s win and his teammate Dale Steyn also out of action – this season of IPL has been virtually reduced to injury premier league. And this is before the beginning of the 47-day of rigorous action.

Teams and broadcasters will be a worried lot even if BCCI has secured its player by insurance covers against any revenue loss.