IPL 2023: Josh Hazlewood to miss initial stages for Royal Challengers Bangalore

Josh Hazlewood took 20 wickets in 12 matches for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2022 season

Australia’s right-arm fast bowler Josh Hazlewood is all set to miss the initial stages of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 tournament for Royal Challengers Bangalore due to the injury that kept him away from their recent tour of India. The 16th edition of IPL will start on March 31 with defending winners Gujarat Titans facing Chennai Super Kings in the first match of the competition. 

The tall fast bowler had earlier travelled to India along with the Australian cricket team to take part in the four match Test series for the Border Gavaskar Trophy as well as the three-match ODI series but he could not play in any single match on the tour. 

After remaining in India for a while, Josh Hazlewood was sent back home to Sydney where he was working on his injury that has kept him away from a lot of international cricket in recent times.

According to multiple reports in the media, Josh Hazlewood remained in Sydney after returning from India and will be consulting with the medical staff of Cricket Australia before she decides to join Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. Another report said that Josh Hazlewood is hopeful of making it to the RCB camp at a later stage in the tournament.

Josh Hazlewood is suffering from Achilles tendonitis which has affected his participation and top flight cricket since December 2022. 

After he damaged his side in the first Test of the Australian home summer last year, he missed the remaining three matches at home and still travelled with the Australian national squad to India hoping that he will be fit in time for the Test series. However, he could not play any matches on the India tour and returned home. 

Another report added that Josh Hazlewood will be monitored closely given that he is a vital player for Australia who will be taking on India in the final of the ICC World Test Championship 2021-23 followed by the Ashes in England right after the end of IPL 2023 on May 28.

Josh Hazlewood was picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore during the 2022 mega auction for Rs.7.75 crore. He took 20 wickets in 12 matches in IPL 2022 finishing as the second highest wicket taker for Royal Challengers Bangalore last year.

With Josh Hazlewood uncertain to take part for a significant amount of time in IPL 2023, RCB have a growing list of injured players who have been sidelined due to injuries. Earlier, England’s Will Jacks was ruled out for the entire season whereas the talented domestic Indian batsman Rajat Patidar will miss at least the first half of the IPL 2023 season due to a heel injury.

In their first match, Royal Challengers Bangalore will take on Mumbai Indians in their home ground of M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore under the captaincy of former South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis.