Star England all-rounder Moeen Ali is likely to miss the first match of the Chennai Super Kings for IPL 2022 since he is yet to receive his India visa in time for the 15th edition of the T20 tournament, which will start in Mumbai on Saturday (March 26). The four-time IPL champion Chennai Super Kings will be squaring off with last edition’s runner-up side Kolkata Knight Riders in this year’s opening match, which will be held at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
A report in ESPNcricinfo revealed that Moeen will have to arrive in Mumbai by Wednesday to be able to play in Chennai Super Kings’ first match. Noting the fact that Moeen would have to go through the mandatory three-day quarantine period to be allowed to enter the IPL bio-secure environment, the management of the Super Kings has already accepted that the possibility of the star playing at the opening match is unlikely to happen.
The report also added that New Zealand batter Devon Conway is likely to make his IPL debut if Moeen fails to arrive in time. Considering that Moeen’s off-spin will definitely come in handy against Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana and Sunil Narine – the Knight Riders’ trio of left-handers – the Super Kings will most likely feel a definite pinch in their first match.
Moeen was retained by CSK alongside inspirational captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja and Ruturaj Gaikwad because of his great all-round show, which helped the team get its fourth IPL title.
Aside from Moeen, another player may also miss a season opener – Mumbai Indians’ Suryakumar Yadav is yet to be released by the NCA. He is currently rehabilitating from a hairline fracture on his thumb and it’s not clear yet when he will be cleared and become available for IPL 2022.
Both the Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians will try to fill the void left by the absence of their key players. The Chennai Super Kings will start their IPL 2022 campaign with a mega clash against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Saturday, while the Kings will face the Delhi Capitals in their season opener on Sunday. As CSK will most likely provide a cap to Devon Conway, Mumbai will exhaust its Indian talent pool to replace Suryakumar Yadav in their opening match.