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Josh Hazlewood, the pacer for Chennai Super Kings (CSK), has withdrawn from the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL). Hazlewood was supposed to fly to India today with the rest of Australia’s IPL players, but the pacer has decided to skip this year’s tournament to spend more time with his family. “It’s been a long 10 months in bubbles and quarantine at different times, so I decided to have a rest from cricket and spend some time at home and in Australia in the next two months. We’ve got a big winter ahead too. The West Indies is going to be a long tour, with Bangladesh T20 tour potentially thrown on the end of that,” quoted Hazlewood as saying.

“Then potentially the T20 World Cup leading into the Ashes, so it’s a big 12 months, as it always is with Australia, and I want to give myself the best chance to be mentally and physically ready for that. That’s the decision I’ve made, and it sits pretty well with me,” he added.

Mitchell Marsh, the all-rounder for SunRisers Hyderabad, also pulled out of this year’s IPL on Wednesday, and the franchise named Jason Roy as his replacement.

Earlier this year, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batsman Joshua Philippe decided to skip the IPL due to personal reasons.

Hazlewood had only played three games for CSK in IPL 2020, and he would have been competing for a spot in the playing XI with Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Lungi Ngidi, and Dwayne Bravo this year.

The IPL 2021 season will kick off on April 9 with a match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). CSK will play the Delhi Capitals, led by Rishabh Pant, in their first match on April 10 at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

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Dhoni has led CSK to three IPL titles (2010, 2011, and 2018). Last season, the team finished in seventh place and missed out on the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

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