IPL 2021: SRH sign Umran Malik as short-term COVID-19 replacement of T Natarajan

The 14th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) which began in India earlier this year was suspended indefinitely owing to COVID-19 outbreak in bio bubbles of different teams. But, the tournament has now resumed in UAE.

As the cash-rich league was going smoothly in the middle east, there was another hiccup as Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) pacer T Natarajan tested positive and was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Even though the match between the Hyderabad-based franchise and Delhi Capitals went ahead as scheduled with DC registering a comfortable 8-wicket win, the left-arm quick had to go into isolation along with detected close contacts.

With no Natarajan at their helm, SRH have decided to bring in a medium pacer Umran Malik as a short-term COVID-19 replacement for T Natarajan for their IPL 2021 campaign. Malik has played one T20 and List A match for Jammu Kashmir and has picked a total of four wickets, on top of that he is already a part of SRH camp as a net bowler.

According to Regulation 6.1(c), any franchise is allowed to sign a cricketer as a short time replacement of a player until the original squad member is permitted to re-enter the team’s bio-secure environment.

Hence, Malik will only be a part of the Orange Army until Natarajan recovers and is allowed to join the team.

As far as SRH are concerned, with yet another defeat, they find themselves languishing at the bottom of the points table with only 1 win in 8 matches played so far.