Kings XI Punjab will miss the service of injured West Indies paceman Jerome Taylor during the second edition of the cash-rich Indian Premier League in South Africa from April 18 to May 24.
The Mohali team has decided to replace Taylor, who survived a motor vehicle accident last month, with South African young left-arm pacer Yusuf Abdulla, co-owner of Kings XI Punjab Ness Wadia said on Saturday night.
During a telephonic conversation with the reporters, Wadia said: “Injured Jerome is going to miss the IPL this year. It’s an unfortunate development for us as we had rated him high and thought a lot about him during our preparation.
“We got in touch with him couple of days back and he conveyed his unavailability. Now Durban-based cricketer Yusuf Abdulla will replace him. His knowledge about South African pitches and conditions will, I think, contribute to the cause of the team.”
Wadia, who co-owns the IPL franchisee along with actress Priety Zinta, however, hoped that star Australia fast bowler Brett Lee, who is nursing an ankle injury, will be available when the Twenty20 tournament commences later this month.
“Our bowling is definitely an issue. But I hope Lee will recover soon and come to play for the longer time,” he said.
The Yuvraj Singh-led side, which will be based at the picturesque Port Elizabeth in the rainbow nation, has also roped in Wanderers head coach David Nosworthy and eyeing to capitalise on his vast experiences.
“We tied up with Nosworthy last week and he will join hands with coach Tom Moody. Hopefully his experience will have some positive impacts on our performances,” Wadia said.
“A total of 28 cricketers are going to fly to the country and after that we will pick up the bests out of them. We want to be focused and win the tournament this time,” he added.
Tom Moody, the coach, said “I am excited about starting our preparation with the Kings XI Punjab Squad in Port Elizabeth, a city that is logistically a great venue for our training. We are positioned well weather wise, as there is plenty of sunshine in Port Elizabeth, that will help our players get familiarized with South Africa and its conditions for the upcoming season 2.