Australian legspinner Adam Zampa will not be available for the Royal Challengers Bangalore's first game of IPL 2021 because of his marriage, the team's director of cricket Mike Hesson said in a video posted on Twitter. The Royal Challengers will play the Mumbai Indians on April 9 in the tournament opener, to be held in Chennai.
Zampa, who has 200 wickets in 173 T20s, played only three games for the Royal Challengers in IPL 2020, picking up two wickets.
"We won't have our full contingent of overseas players available for the first game," Hesson said. "Adam Zampa is getting married. It's an important time for him and it's something that as a franchise we are aware of and we respect and we hope he has a great time. So when he joins us, once again he is going to be fresh and make a massive contribution to the rest of the tournament."
Most of the Royal Challengers' overseas players will arrive in India in a staggered manner, depending on their international engagements and also the NOCs from their respective boards. After that, they will have to serve a mandatory seven-day quarantine period before joining the squad.
"We have got players arriving all the way through till 1st of April, which is where we get the NOCs for some of the overseas players, particularly those who are playing," Hesson said. "Finn Allen is playing in T20s in New Zealand on the 1st of April; he will be coming the day after. We have got Australians who play up to 31st, likes of Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson. They then jump on a plane and come. ABD [de Villiers] arrives on 28th.
"I see it as a jigsaw puzzle, pulling everything together. Those guys who haven't been playing a huge amount of cricket, it [the quarantine period] will benefit them. Those who have, I think seven days will be great for them just to refresh"
Mike Hesson
"So we have got players arriving at different times and we have to factor that into our preparation, which will include some practice games heading into our first game on 9th."
The Royal Challengers will start their camp in Chennai on March 29, a day after India's ODI series against England gets over. The players who are part of the ODI squad in Pune and will be hopping from one bubble to another won't have to serve the quarantine.
"We have got some who have been in the bubble all the time, so they will come straight bubble to bubble transfer," Hesson explained. "From Pune, they will join us. We have got one or two who will have a day or two at home. They have been in a bubble for so long and need to freshen up. When they will be arriving, they obviously will have to take their seven-day quarantine.
"I see it as a jigsaw puzzle, pulling everything together. But really keen to get started. Those guys who haven't been playing a huge amount of cricket, it [the quarantine period] will benefit them. Those who have, I think seven days will be great for them just to refresh."