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News

Maxwell signs with Washington in MLC, clarifies that form was the reason for IPL self-omission

Maxwell signs with Washington Freedom to play alongside Steven Smith and Travis Head under coach Ricky Ponting

Alex Malcolm
Alex Malcolm
18-Apr-2024
Glenn Maxwell has joined Travis Head and Steve Smith in signing with Washington Freedom for the upcoming Major League Cricket season while clarifying that his form was the major reason for his self-omission from Royal Challengers Bengaluru's side in the IPL rather than needing a mental break.
Maxwell has become the latest Australian player to sign in MLC and will join his Australia teammates in Head and Smith, along with his former IPL coach Ricky Ponting, at Washington Freedom.
He told ESPN's Around the Wicket that he was excited about the opportunity to play in the United States.
"It's a tournament that I watched from afar last year and was extremely excited about hopefully playing this tournament one day and luckily enough the timings have aligned this year," Maxwell said. "I've been speaking to Ricky Ponting and a few other players a fair bit over the last little period and certainly extremely excited to get stuck in.
"Having Travis and Steve there and Ricky, three guys who I'm extremely familiar with, I think that sort of probably tipped me over the edge. You sort of um and ah about that time of the year about where you're going to be and whether you take the time off, whether you play the Hundred or what you might do and I think just having those couple of Aussies there and I think the opportunity to be a part of something really big in MLC and grow something is really exciting as well."
Maxwell joins Head, Smith, Adam Zampa (Los Angeles Knight Riders), Spencer Johnson (Knight Riders), Tim David (MI New York), Matt Short (San Franciso Unicorns) and Jake Fraser-McGurk (San Franciso Unicorns) as confirmed Australian signings for the second season of MLC, with more expected to join for the tournament which starts immediately after the T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies ends on June 29.
Meanwhile, Maxwell has moved to clarify his decision to ask to be omitted from RCB's line-up from the last IPL match against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Maxwell explained that it had nothing to do with needing to take an extended break from the tournament. He simply felt like he was not in the best XI and wanted to take any tough conversations away from captain Faf du Plessis and coach Andy Flower by asking to be dropped.
"I was pretty low on confidence," Maxwell said. "I had a good couple of net sessions and just went out to the ground and felt really tentative. I wasn't able to really commit to my game plans and just felt like if I had kept playing and playing that role, I don't think the results would change too much.
"So I just went to Faf and said, look, I think we need to try someone else in my position and had the same conversation with Andy Flower, the coach, and to me it was a bit of a no-brainer. I think it sort of saves the tough conversation they might have to have about dropping me.
"I felt really at peace with it. Obviously, I'm frustrated that I wasn't able to get the results I would have liked but comfortable in the fact that I know I feel like I've made the right decision for the team and it's certainly not like I'm taking an extended break away from the game.
"I just think it's a better opportunity for someone else to have a crack at my position. I know I'm an important part of this side but at the moment I'm not playing well enough to I suppose warrant a spot."
Maxwell revealed he is unlikely to come back in for the next game, against Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday, given he is battling a minor hip injury. He said he understands he has to bide his time to get another opportunity.
"I've actually got a little bit of a hip strain so I've got a few more days off and during recovery," Maxwell said. "So I've got a little period here where I'm still training, still trying to get myself right. If there is a spot that becomes available, I'll obviously put my hand up and take it
"It's not one of those things where I've set a date that I'll be out for three games then I'll come back whenever I'm ready. That's that's not how it works. I haven't been at a level that's good enough to warrant a spot on the side this year."

Alex Malcolm is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo