Sunrisers Hyderabad, the Hyderabad-based franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL), has been hit by a major blow ahead of the upcoming season, with prolific England batter Jonny Bairstow set to miss the entire campaign due to injury.
According to reports, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has refused to grant Bairstow a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to play in the high-profile T20 league beginning on March 31.
The 33-year-old Bairstow is recovering from a leg injury he sustained in September last year and has not played cricket since then.
The ECB has decided not to issue him the NOC for the season, given the long injury layoff.
Bairstow missed England’s T20 World Cup-winning campaign and Test tours of Pakistan and New Zealand after sustaining multiple fractures following a freak slip on the golf course in September 2022.
He underwent surgery on his broken leg and dislocated ankle in October last year and has been recovering since then.
Bairstow was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 6.75 crores during the IPL auction earlier this year.
His absence will be a huge loss for the team, as he is a key player in their lineup and has been in great form in T20 cricket in recent years.
Meanwhile, the ECB has cleared all-rounder Liam Livingstone to play in the IPL.
Livingstone is coming back after recovering from his knee and ankle injuries and is expected to be a valuable addition to the Punjab Kings team.
The franchise had bought Livingstone for Rs 11.50 crores during the IPL auction.
“Punjab Kings have some bittersweet news as England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has cleared Liam Livingstone for participation in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) but has stopped Jonny Bairstow from taking part,” a report in cricbuzz said on Thursday.
Livingstone had a stop-start season in 2022 after hurting his ankle during the Hundred tournament in the UK.
He has been out of action since the Rawalpindi Test last December because of injuries.
However, he was part of the Lancashire County Cricket Club’s off-season training recently in Dubai and is expected to be fit and ready to play in the IPL.
The report also stated that Sam Curran, who was the most expensive buy at the IPL auction earlier this year, will be available for Punjab Kings.
The franchise splurged Rs 18.50 crore for the fast bowling all-rounder, and he is expected to play a crucial role in their campaign.
Overall, the absence of Jonny Bairstow will be a big loss for Sunrisers Hyderabad, and they will need to find a suitable replacement for him in their lineup.
Meanwhile, the inclusion of Liam Livingstone and Sam Curran will be a boost for the Punjab Kings team, who will be looking to make a strong impact in the upcoming season of the IPL.