The 16th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to commence on March 31 with the game between Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans. The league has suffered with so many players getting ruled out of the tournament due to injuries while a few top players had pulled out earlier from the auction itself. However, the franchises now seem to be fretting over the unavailability of overseas players due to international commitments.
Majorly, the Sri Lanka and Bangladesh players will be arriving late due to their bilateral series. While Sri Lanka is currently involved in the series against New Zealand away from home, Bangladesh are set to face Ireland at home in a three-match T20I series starting from March 27 that will end on March 31. Post this series, the two sides are also scheduled to play a one-off Test match from April 4 to April 8.
This means that the likes of Maheesh Theekshana, Matheesha Pathirana and Wanindu Hasaranga will only be to join their respective IPL team once the bilateral series in New Zealand ends on April 8. Notably, New Zealand have picked a depleted squad for this series releasing their IPL-bound players. As for Bangladesh, Shakib Al Hasan, Litton Das and Mustafizur Rahman are unavailable till April 8 and if picked, will not be available in May as well due to the team's scheduled three-match ODI against Ireland in England.
To add to the franchises' woes, South Africa's players are also arriving late thanks to their two ODIs against the Netherlands that are to be played on March 31 and April 2. A lot of Proteas players are a key part of several IPL teams and all of them will be missing at least the opening match for their side. South Africa are on the verge of losing on an automatic qualification in the ODi World Cup later this year and hence, Cricket South Africa (CSA) has made it mandatory for their players to feature in the Netherlands series at home. Reportedly, the board has also communicated the same to the BCCI.
Here's the team-wise list of players who will be arriving late in IPL 2023:
CSK - Matheesha Pathirana and Maheesh Theekshana (to be available after April 8) - to miss first 3 matches.
PBKS - Kagiso Rabada (to join squad on April 3) - to miss at least the first game.
LSG - De Kock to join squad on April 3 - to miss 2 matches.
MI - Tristan Stubbs and Dewald Brevis might miss first game if picked for ODI series vs Netherlands.
SRH - Aiden Markram, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen - to join team on April 3 - to miss the first match.
GT - David Miller to arrive on April 3 - to miss at least the first game. Joshua Little will leave squad during IPL for ODI series vs BAN in May,
KKR - Litton Das, Shakib Al Hasan - not available till April 8 - to miss at least first 2 matches and then will leave for ODI series vs IRE in May.
DC - Mustafizur Rahman - not available till April 8 - to miss first three matches and then will leave for ODI series vs IRE in May. Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje - to miss at least first match.
RCB - Wanindu Hasaranga (to be available after April 8) - to miss first two matches.