South Africa batter Rassie van der Dussen, it appears, is not going to join the Rajasthan Royals in India for the remainder of IPL 2021. ESPNcricinfo understands that he got a visa to fly to India but failed to obtain a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from Cricket South Africa, who cited injury as the reason for this. He was meant to replace the injured Ben Stokes.
The Royals, meanwhile, named 20-year-old South African fast bowler Gerald Coetzee as a replacement for England batter Liam Livingstone. Coetzee has landed in India and finished his quarantine, and trained with the Royals squad on Saturday.
The Royals' overseas roster has dwindled to just five, including Jos Buttler, David Miller, Chris Morris, Mustafizur Rahman and Coetzee.
Coetzee represents the Knights in South Africa's domestic circuit and has also played two Under-19 World Cups. He has nine wickets and an economy rate of 7.68 in eight T20s.
The Royals' overseas contingent was not at full strength even before the IPL started. Jofra Archer underwent surgery in March and was eventually ruled out of the tournament and three other players - Stokes, Livingstone and Andrew Tye - left India for different reasons. Stokes broke a finger in mid-April, and Livingstone left India citing "bubble fatigue". Then, Tye also returned home as anxiety about the worsening Covid-19 situation in India built up.
The severe state of the pandemic in India is likely to make it hard for the Royals to arrange for replacement players for their internationals. Six games into their season they are placed second from bottom on the points table with only two wins. They play their next game on Sunday, against the bottom-placed Sunrisers Hyderabad.