Indian Premier League’s (IPL) most successful sides Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have been handed a massive blow ahead of the start of the upcoming season of the lucrative league as their star players — Moeen Ali and Suryakumar Yadav — are likely to miss the season opener.
According to ESPNcricinfo, England all-rounder Moeen Ali is stuck in the United Kingdom and has failed to secure a visa for his travel to India for IPL 2022.
On the other side, Suryakumar Yadav is yet to be released by the National Cricket Academy (NCA), where he had gone to recover from a finger injury.
Even if Moeen arrives in India on Wednesday (March 23), the all-rounder will be required to serve a three-day mandatory quarantine before entering IPL bio-bubble.
Notably, Moeen had played a crucial role in CSK’s title run as he had finished as their third-highest run-getter after amassing 357 runs at an average of 25.50 and a strike-rate of 137.20 in the previous season. The England all-rounder was also the fifth in the list of the batters with most sixes during IPL 2021.
Moeen’s absence though could open the way for New Zealand’s Devon Conway to make his IPL debut and open for CSK alongside Ruturaj Gaikwad.
Suryakumar, on the other side, cannot join the Mumbai Indians squad until he is cleared by the NCA’s medical staff.
The MS Dhoni-led CSK is set to begin its IPL 2022 campaign with a blockbuster clash against two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the historic Wankhede stadium on Saturday (March 26). Five-time champions Mumbai will face Delhi Capitals (DC) in their season opener on Sunday.
Notably, the upcoming IPL season will begin on March 26 and will be played in a bio-secure environment at a single hub to avoid air travel, considered as a major threat for the spread of COVID-19 infection, thereby affecting the players and tournament.
While 55 matches are scheduled to be held in Mumbai, the remaining 15 games will be staged in Pune while the playoffs’ venues haven’t been decided yet. Is most likley that the Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad will stage the playoffs however, no official announcement has been made yet.
In the upcoming season, the 10 teams have been divided into two groups. While Group A comprises of Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals and Lucknow Super Giants, Group B includes Chennai Super Kings, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Punjab Kings and Gujarat Titans.
From this year onwards, the lucrative league will be a ten-team affair following the addition of the two new teams – Ahmedabad and Lucknow and will have a total of 74 games.