Australia wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Philippe has pulled out of the IPL for personal reasons, prompting Royal Challengers Bangalore to sign uncapped New Zealander Finn Allen as a like-for-like replacement.
Regarded one of Australia’s brightest batting prospects, 23-year-old Philippe made his international debut against New Zealand last month and played in all five matches of the recent 3-2 Twenty20 series defeat.
“Philippe has made himself unavailable for the upcoming season due to personal reasons,” RCB said in a statement. “The RCB management is disappointed to lose a player of Josh’s calibre for this IPL season, but at the same time we fully understand, respect and support his decision of excluding himself from the tournament.”
Allen was passed over in the IPL auction but the exciting 21-year-old gets his chance after amassing a table-topping 512 runs to power Wellington Firebirds to the title in New Zealand’s domestic Super Smash T20 competition.
Allen’s IPL commitment could mean missing out on an international debut, with New Zealand to play Bangladesh in a three-match T20 series from 28 March. RCB play Mumbai Indians in the IPL’s opener on 9 April.
“Finn has been talked about a lot and why wouldn’t he because he’s had a fantastic season with Wellington,” New Zealand selector Gavin Larden told reporters on Thursday.
Larsen said New Zealand coach Gary Stead was in talks with IPL clubs about when players would be required to arrive in India.
“We’ve got a number of guys involved in the IPL and there is a cutover period. We’re just working through that now,” he said.
“Gary [Stead] is talking with franchise coaches around expectations and what the hopes are and we’ll make the [selection] decision in the very near future.”