- England all-rounder is yet to receive his India visa.
- CSK will take on last edition's runner-up side KKR in the opening match.
- New Zealand batter Devon Conway is likely to make his IPL debut.
Defending champions Chennai Super Kings will miss the services of Moeen Ali for their IPL-opener as the star England all-rounder is yet to receive his India visa for competing in the lucrative T20 tournament, beginning in Mumbai on Saturday.
CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan confirmed the development "It is almost certain that Moeen Ali wil miss the first game. He has still not got the visa.
We are on it as well as BCCI. Hope it is sorted in a day or two," Viswanathan told PTI. It is disappointing that he has not bee able to join us.
They follow set procedures for players with Pakistan descent. That looks like the reason (for delay)."
His grandfather migrated to England from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir but Moeen is born in England and is a frequent visitor to India.
CSK, four-time IPL champions, will take on last edition's runner-up side Kolkata Knight Riders in the opening match of the this year's IPL at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.
Viswanathan said even if he manages to reach India by Thursday, Ali will be unavailable for the opener because of the quarantine protocol laid down by the IPL organisers.
"There is three-day mandatory quarantine which Moeen has to undergo before joining the IPL bio-bubble. So he will be out of the first game even if he gets his visa today or tomorrow."
Because of his fine all-round show which helped the team lift its fourth IPL title, Moeen was retained by CSK along side inspirational captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja and Ruturaj Gaikwad.
Moeen scored 357 runs from 15 innings for CSK in the IPL last year, while also taking six wickets from 15 games with his off-spin bowling.
Deepak Chahar to miss a good number of matches
Besides Moeen, CSK will also miss their star pacer Deepak Chahar, who has been ruled out of the first half of the IPL due to a right quadriceps injury which he sustained during the third and final T20 match against the West Indies in Kolkata last month.
Asked about Chahar's progress, Viswanathan said: "He will remain in the NCA until he gets fitness clearance from the BCCI."