Delhi Capitals have confirmed that Mumbai all-rounder Shams Mulani will serve as a ‘short-term COVID-19 replacement’ for Axar Patel, who tested positive in quarantine prior to the start of IPL 2021. Meanwhile, it has also been confirmed that Karnataka's Aniruddha Joshi will replace Shreyas Iyer.
Delhi Capitals have become the first franchise in Indian Premier League history to sign a ‘short-term COVID-19 replacement’ as it has been confirmed that Mumbai’s Shams Mulani will be replacing Axar Patel until the latter recovers and re-joins the squad. Axar, who endured a successful season in 2020, tested positive in quarantine prior to the start of IPL 2021 and was hence taken to BCCI’s medical facility for isolation and treatment.
Axar was hence slated to miss the first few games of IPL 2021, but he will now be temporarily replaced by Mulani. The 24-year-old all-rounder from Mumbai, who bowls left-arm spin and is a handy batsman, did not enjoy the greatest of SMAT 2021 seasons - 4 wickets from 3 games and just 12 runs with the bat - but has been long earmarked as one of the brightest talents to emerge out of Mumbai.
“Delhi Capitals have brought in Shams Mulani as a short-term COVID-19 replacement for Axar Patel for their VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 campaign. Axar had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 virus during his mandatory quarantine ahead of the season and was subsequently taken to BCCI’s medical facility for isolation and treatment,” read an official IPL statement.
"Mulani, a left-handed batsman and a slow left-arm orthodox bowler from Mumbai, comes in as a replacement under VIVO IPL's Player Regulations. Under the Regulation 6.1 (c), franchises are allowed to sign a short-term replacement player until the original squad member is permitted to re-enter the team's bio-secure environment. Hence, Mulani will only be a part of the Delhi Capitals side until Axar recovers and is allowed to join the team.”
Meanwhile, Karnataka’s Aniruddha Joshi will replace skipper Shreyas Iyer for the rest of the season. Joshi, a hard-hitting all-rounder, was purchased for his base price of 20 lakh by Rajasthan Royals in the 2020 auction, but was released ahead of the 2021 edition. He will replace Iyer, who was earlier ruled out of the entirety of IPL 2021 due to a shoulder injury he sustained in the England series.
“Meanwhile, Delhi Capitals have also signed Anirudha Joshi as a replacement for the injured Shreyas Iyer for the remainder of the VIVO IPL 2021. Iyer was ruled out of the tournament after sustaining an injury during the recent India-England One-Day International (ODI) series.
“Joshi, a middle-order batsman and an off-spinner, joins his third IPL team, having been a part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals in the past. He represents Karnataka in domestic cricket and has featured in 17 List A and 22 T20 matches so far.”