In a serious blow to Shahrukh Khan-owned Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), English cricketer Alex Hales has withdrawn from the Indian Premium League (IPL) 2022 due to “bubble fatigue”.
In a statement, the star player said: “I am sad to announce that I have made the extremely difficult decision to withdraw from the forthcoming IPL.”
Hales further said that having spent the last four months away from home in restrictive bio bubbles and having tested for COVID myself in Australia, “I don’t feel as though I can commit myself to another extended period within a secure environment.”
Hales, who was a part of the KKR, said: “I am truly gutted to have to turn down one of the best opportunities of my career due to the toll that the last two years of bubble life have taken on my mental well-being.”
The star player will now take some time to rest and recharge ahead of the summer.
The English cricketer said: “I want to thank KKR for believing in me during the auction and for their ongoing support in recent weeks.”
Hales’s sensational form for United in PSL 2022 has landed him in the IPL, where he was scheduled to play for KKR, who bought him for INR 15 million.
It is worth mentioning that earlier, he withdrew from the Pakistan Super League (PSL) due to “bubble fatigue”; however, after injuries plagued Islamabad United reached the play-offs stage, Hales returned to the league and played a couple of matches for his side.
The opening batter is the second English player to have opted to withdraw from the IPL after Jason Roy announced that he will not participate in the upcoming edition of the league.
Aaron Finch to replace Hales
Following the withdrawal, KKR signed Australia’s T20 World Cup-winning captain Aaron Finch as a replacement for Hales, NDTV Sports reported.
Finch will join KKR at the price of INR 1.5 crore. The Australian player has played 87 IPL games and has over 2,000 IPL runs.
Two-time IPL champions — KKR — will kickstart the IPL 2022 proceedings on March 26 when they take on Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.