Mumbai Indians have lost another overseas fast bowler as Adam Milne of New Zealand pulled out of the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) due to a swollen heel. This comes as a major blow in quick succession for the Mumbai-based franchise after Lasith Malinga opted to skip the first six matches of the IPL to fulfil the condition set by Sri Lanka Cricket to play in the domestic 50-overs competition in order to qualify for World Cup selection, ESPNcricinfo reported.
Mumbai are keen on signing West Indies' Alzarri Joseph as a replacement. Moreover, as per IPL rules, the amount a franchise can pay the replacement player cannot exceed that paid to the original player. So any player that replaces Milne cannot be paid over 75 lakhs.
Mumbai, with New Zealand's Mitchell McClenaghan and Ben Cutting of Australia as its two overseas fast bowlers, will meet Delhi Capitals in their opening fixture on March 24 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Earlier, Malinga had made himself unavailable for Mumbai Indians' first six matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as he will be participating in Sri Lanka's Super Provincial One-Day domestic tournament, slated from April 4 to April 11, in a bid to make it to the World Cup team.
"I had asked the board for the No-Objection Certificate for me to play in the IPL, and they had said that was fine, but that all players who want to go to the World Cup would need to stay back for the provincial tournament," Malinga told ESPNcricinfo.
"So I told them I'd play in the provincial tournament, and I asked the board to inform Mumbai Indians and IPL since it was their decision. I'm ok with losing those earnings from IPL. I'm doing it for the country," said the Sri Lankan, who was bought by Mumbai Indians for Rs 2 crore.
Malinga, who had worked as a bowling mentor for Mumbai Indians last year, suggested that his franchise should replace him with someone else.
(With PTI and ANI inputs)