Australian fast bowler Kane Richardson has turned his back on a lucrative Indian Premier League contract to remain at home with his partner for the birth of their first child.
Richardson stood to earn $816,000 to appear for Royal Challengers Bangalore, but has walked away from that contract with wife Nyki due to give birth in the middle of the IPL season.
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Fellow Aussie bowler Adam Zampa has been drafted in to replace him.
Royal Challengers Bangalore coach Mike Hesson said it was a no-brainer to allow Richardson to walk away from his deal.
“We are disappointed to not have Kane’s skills with us this IPL as he’s certainly on top of his game,” Hesson said.
“However, once we found out Kane and Nyki‘s baby was due during the IPL, it’s an exciting time and we were fully supportive of Kane wanting to be at the birth of their first child.
“When looking at our squad for UAE conditions, we felt it was an opportunity to bring in another quality leg-spinner in Adam Zampa to provide cover for (Yuzvendra) Chahal and also give us extra options if conditions suit spin as expected during the tournament.”
Indian Premier League hit by virus crisis
India has been one of the worst-affected nations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and the IPL’s attempts to get the competition up and running amid such conditions have proved fraught.
A total of 11 personnel and two players from the Chennai Super Kings have tested positive for the virus, causing doubts as to whether the competition can get away safely on September 19.
Australian quick Josh Hazelwood, who remains in Australia but is contracted to CSK, said the news was ‘a bit concerning’ but added he was staying in touch with the team.
“The franchise, we have a group WhatsApp, with all the information that comes through, it‘s, obviously, a little bit of a concern, yeah,“ Hazlewood said.
“You ideally would have no cases.
“They are, obviously, in quarantine now and I think they finish up over the next few days.
“All my focus is, obviously, on this tournament at the moment. Once that IPL becomes closer, we will think more about that.“