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Australia and Chennai Super Kings fast bowler Josh Hazlewood has withdrawn from this year's IPL in order to stay in shape for Australia's upcoming calendar. He becomes the third Australian player, after Josh Philippe and Mitchell Marsh, to withdraw ahead of this season.
Hazlewood, 30, has been jumping in and out of bio-secure bubbles since July last year, including with the Super Kings at the IPL, and said he now wanted to focus on staying physically and mentally ready for a big year with Australia.
"It's been a long 10 months in bubbles and quarantine at different times, so I decided to have a rest from cricket and spend some time at home and in Australia in the next two months," Hazlewood told cricket.com.au. "We've got a big winter ahead too. The West Indies is going to be a long tour, with Bangladesh (T20 tour) potentially thrown on the end of that.
"Then potentially the T20 World Cup leading into the Ashes, so it's a big 12 months, as it always is with Australia, and I want to give myself the best chance to be mentally and physically ready for that. That's the decision I've made, and it sits pretty well with me."
Hazlewood wasn't a frontline option for the Super Kings last year, playing in only three matches as they lined up their bowling with domestic options alongside allrounders Sam Curran and Dwayne Bravo for the most part.