Sunrisers Hyderabad opener Jonny Bairstow, Punjab Kings batsman Dawid Malan and Delhi Capitals all-rounder Chris Woakes have pulled out of the second half of the Indian Premier League due to personal reasons.
Punjab have named South African batsman Aiden Markram as Malan's replacement. Meanwhile, Hyderabad have brought in West Indies batter Sherfane Rutherford in place of Bairstow.
The England and India players were supposed to fly into UAE from Manchester together in a bubble to bubble transfer but COVID-19 cases in the visitors' camp forced IPL teams to make their own arrangements.
The fifth Test between India and England was also postponed indefinitely after a junior physio tested positive for the virus ahead of the game. Other members of India's support staff, including head Ravi Shastri, were already in quarantine after they tested positive for the virus during the fourth Test at the Oval.
All players arriving in Dubai now have to do a six-day quarantine and that could be the reason behind Bairstow and Malan pulling out. A BCCI official told PTI that both the players won't be part of the IPL resuming on September 19.
"They won't be boarding the flight to UAE. One of the reasons for their pull out is the six-day quarantine which they didn't need to do earlier," said the official.
While Bairstow is a regular in the Sunrisers line-up, world number one T20 batsman Malan made his IPL debut with Kings earlier this year. Bairstow had made 248 runs at strike rate of 141 plus in seven games earlier this season. Both Bairstow and Malan were part of England's Test squad in Manchester.
Meanwhile, Markram is yet to make his IPL debut. The right-hander from South Africa is currently in Sri Lanka and will fly directly from there to join the Punjab squad. Markram has been in pretty decent form this year. In 2021, the 26-year-old has slammed 444 runs in 16 T20s at an average of 29.6 and a strike rate of 141.4.
Rutherford too has been in solid form in the ongoing CPL 2021. The left-hander has smashed 201 runs in seven innings, studded with three fifties, at a strike rate of 136.73. The 23-year-old could provide SRH some much-needed solidity in the middle-order.
Bubble life has taken a toll on players and with the T20 World Cup to follow in UAE, not playing the IPL would allow more family time to Woakes, Bairstow and Malan.
The three of them are also part of England's Ashes plans but the tour Down Under is also currently in doubt with Australia imposing some of the harshest restrictions in the world on incoming travellers in the COVID times.
(With inputs from PTI)