Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) have roped in Jammu and Kashmir fast bowler Umran Malik as a short-term replacement for T.Natarajan for theIndian Premier League (IPL) 2021.
Natarajan had tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of SRH’s game against Delhi Capitals (DC) on Wednesday (Sept. 22). He was asymptotic and is currently in self-isolation.
“Under the Regulation 6.1 (c), franchises are allowed to sign a short-term replacement player until the original squad member is permitted to re-enter the team’s bio-secure environment. Hence, Malik will only be a part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad side until Natarajan recovers and is allowed to join the team,” wrote IPL in an official release.
The 21-year-old fast bowler Malik, who is one of SRH’s net bowlers for the IPL 2021, made his competitive debut earlier this year and has picked a total of four wickets, having played one T20 and List A match for Jammu Kashmir.
On Wednesday, after Natarajan returned with a positive result, the medical team identified as many as six close contacts of the player, who were also placed in isolation.: Vijay Shankar, Vijay Kumar – Team Manager, Shyam Sundar J – Physiotherapist, Anjana Vannan – Doctor, Tushar Khedkar – Logistics Manager and Periyasamy Ganesan – Net Bowler.
Despite Natarajan’s covid positive result, SRH’s fixture against DC went ahead on Wednesday in Dubai. The Kane Williamson-led SRH were restricted at 134 for 9 in 20 overs, before Delhi chased it down with 2.1 overs and eight wickets to spare.
Having played eight matches in the IPL 2021, SRH have managed to clinch just one win. “We didn’t start well, didn’t register a decent partnership but never got any momentum, some good scores in the back-end, but pretty much 25-30 runs short. We did bowl well, we have defended modest scores in the past, but it wasn’t to be today which was a bit of a shame.
It’s been a difficult campaign so far, but we need to enjoy our cricket and don’t put ourselves under pressure – they were excellent, they are both quality internationals, two of the best fast bowlers going around at the moment and they put us under pressure. They got us into hard positions, perhaps if we hadn’t lost early wickets, we could have done differently, but Delhi were outstanding and played some smart cricket. We need to concentrate on the way we play and try to improve,” SRH captain Williamson said after loss against DC in Dubai.
Meanwhile, last season’s runner’s up, Delhi, are at the top of the points table with seven wins and two losses.
Both DC and SRH are next in action on Saturday (Sept. 25). While DC take on Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Abu Dhabi, SRH head to Sharjah to face off Punjab Kings (PBKS).