IPL 2023: The 16th edition of the Indian Premier League is all set to begin on March 31, 2023, and will see four-time champions Chennai Super Kings clash with defending champions Gujarat Titans at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad. The upcoming season of the IPL is special as it returns to its original home and away game format since 2019. Ahead of the IPL, the franchises have an uphill task at their disposal as they are dealing with multiple injury issues. Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Delhi Capitals are notably a few of them. As far as Punjab Kings are concerned, they too have sustained a massive blow to their campaign ahead of the marquee tournament.
The England Cricket Board (ECB) has reportedly denied clearance to Punjab Kings’ superstar batsman Jonny Bairstow for his participation in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023. Various media reports claim that the ECB has denied Bairstow a NOC due to his extended injury lay-off and wants him to be completely fit for the upcoming Ashes series that will be played in England. However, the reports also mention that Liam Livingstone has been cleared to play for Punjab Kings in the IPL 2023.
If the reports turn out to be true, it will be a massive setback for PBKS who have spent INR 6.75 crore to reserve Bairstow’s services during the IPL 2022 mega auction. Alongside Bairstow, the franchise spent INR 11.50 to buy Livingstone in 2022. The team features another top-tier English player Sam Curran, who received a bid worth INR 18.5 crore at the IPL 2023 auction.
What happened to Johnny Bairstow?
The 33-year-old English superstar had to miss the T20 World Cup 2022 and England’s overseas Test tours to Pakistan and New Zealand after he sustained a serious injury to his ligament after slipping on a golf course in September 2022. The injury also forced him to miss the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, which England ended up winning. He then underwent surgery on his broken leg and dislocated ankle in October.
While he was expected to be up and running in the coming weeks, ECB’s decision now casts a shadow on his participation in the marquee T20 league of India. It is worth noting that the stylish batsman was last seen practicing with the Lancashire County Cricket Club during the off-season training camp in Dubai. Although an official announcement on the matter is yet to come, reports claim Livingstone has been cleared to play for PBKS in the IPL 2023.
Shikhar Dhawan-led Punjab Kings squad in the Indian Premier League 2023
Punjab Kings will start their 2023 campaign on April 1 with their clash against two-time IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). A total of 70 games will be played during the league stage of the tournament. Here’s a look at the full squad of PBKS, ahead of the IPL 2023.
PBKS squad: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Shahrukh Khan, Jonny Bairstow, Prabhsimran Singh, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Jitesh Sharma, Raj Bawa, Rishi Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Atharva Taide, Arshdeep Singh, Nathan Ellis, Baltej Singh, Kagiso Rabada, Harpreet Brar, Rahul Chahar, Sam Curran, Sikander Raza, Harpreet Bhatia, Vidwath Kaverappa, Shivam Singh, and Mohit Rathe