Lanky Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood has one of the most impressive CVs of a fast bowler of all-time. The 32-year-old won the Champions League T20 as a youngster with Sydney Sixers. With the Australian team, he has won two ODI World Cups, one T20 World Cup, and the ICC World Test Championship mace.
Josh Hazlewood has also topped the ICC Men’s T20I and ODI bowlers ranking. He has been a crucial part of the Australian Test team that has retained the Ashes since 2017, both home and twice away in England. He played a significant role in CSK winning the IPL 2021 season, and RCB reaching the playoffs in the IPL 2022 season.
However, Josh Hazlewood was released by RCB ahead of the IPL 2024 Auction. While the release of Hazlewood by RCB was heavily criticised by the fans and left everyone surprised, RCB coach Andy Flower explained that Hazlewood is likely to miss the first half of IPL 2024 as he and his wife are expecting their child during that time.
“Josh Hazlewood, I just came off the phone from him actually. He pleasingly has a baby on the way and due by the end of March. So Josh won’t be with us and certainly not for the first half of the season,” Flower said.
However, fans believe even if Hazlewood was not available for the first half of the season, he could make a big impact in the second half and could make a difference in the playoff aspirations of any franchise.
Here are 3 teams that might target Josh Hazlewood in IPL 2024 auction:
Mumbai Indians have released a number of pacers from their squad – Arshad Khan, Ramandeep Singh, Jofra Archer, Duan Jansen, Jhye Richardson, Riley Meredith, Chris Jordan, and Sandeep Warrier and Cameron Green is traded to RCB. So it’s very clear that Mumbai Indians will target at least 2-3 big-name overseas pacers, one of them could be Hazlewood, who started his IPL career with MI in 2014 but didn’t get to play then.
Chennai Super Kings
CSK is another franchise who has released a few pacers – Dwaine Pretorius, Akash Singh, Kyle Jamieson, and Sisanda Magala. Given that Josh Hazlewood played for them in IPL 2020 and 2021, and it is then that he became a fearsome T20 bowler under MS Dhoni, CSK are expected to make bids for the Aussie star.
Gujarat Titans (GT)
After trading away Hardik Pandya, the Gujarat Titans have boosted their purse. Among pacers they have releaded are Alzarri Joseph, Odean Smith, Dasun Shanaka, Yash Dayal, Shivam Mavi, and Pradeep Sangwan. Given that GT have a hefty purse to use in the IPL 2024 auction, they can, too, go after a marquee, experienced overseas fast bowler likes Hazlewood.