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News

'Drained' Zampa withdrew from IPL to put family and body first

The legspinner had been due to represent Rajasthan Royals but prioritised making sure he was fresh for the T20 World Cup

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
11-Apr-2024
Adam Zampa opted out of IPL 2024 due to being "completely drained" from the previous 12 months while the uncertainty of how much cricket he would have played was also a factor as he switches his focus to June's T20 World Cup.
Zampa had been due to join Rajasthan Royals but withdrew on the eve of the season having been involved through Royals' previous campaign. He was a key figure in Australia's ODI World Cup last year triumph during which he had to battle various injuries. He then briefly stayed on for the start of the T20I series against India before leaving partway through.
His home season consisted of the BBL for Melbourne Renegades where he made eight appearances followed by the white-ball series against West Indies and New Zealand.
"There are several reasons why the IPL wasn't for me this year. I think the most important one was the fact that it's a World Cup year and I'm completely drained from 2023," Zampa told the Willow Talk podcast. "I did the full IPL last year. Obviously, the World Cup was three months in India as well.
"So I had the best intentions of trying to play the IPL again this year. But once push came to shove, I felt like I just couldn't really offer the Rajasthan Royals the best version of myself and looking forward to the World Cup, that's what's more important to me, that's for sure."
Zampa, who appeared six times for Royals last season where he took eight wickets, also wasn't sure how many games he would get if he had gone through another long stint away from home with the franchise having Indian spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and R Ashwin.
"It came down to my decision being I probably need to put my body and my mental health first," he said. "Then you throw a lot of other things into the equation as well, like the fact that I've got a young family. It's not easy to spend nine weeks in India in my situation where I'm fighting for my spot in the team as well.
"It's not like I can say to myself, 'well, that's alright I've got 14 games to prepare for a World Cup'. I don't know whether or not that's actually going to be two games or four games or six games. So I kind of worked out that maybe just to rest, putting my family first, putting my body first, was better for me.
"It's not an easy decision because you've always got that voice in the back of your mind going, 'pulling out of the IPL, what are people going to say? What happens the next time you want to go to the IPL? Do people kind of paint you with that brush?'. But I wasn't too fussed about it once I made that decision, I knew it was the right one."
Zampa will be a key figure in Australia's quest to unite all three men's world titles at the T20 World Cup having taken the Test Championship and ODI crowns during 2023. Earlier this year, Mitchell Marsh, who is set to captain the side at the tournament, stressed how pivotal he was.
"Zamps is by far our most important bowler and probably our most important player in this team," Marsh said after the West Indies series.
Having operated alongside Glenn Maxwell during the ODI World Cup as Australia's spin pairing, there is a good chance Zampa will be joined by another spin option in the squad for the Caribbean with Ashton Agar in the frame for a recall.
The initial World Cup squad needs to be named by May 1 but can be freely amended on May 25.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo