Andy Flower reveals why RCB let go off Josh Hazlewood

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Andy Flower, the recently appointed head coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), acknowledged the difficulty in parting ways with Josh Hazlewood before the IPL 2024 auction. With the talented right-arm seamer unavailable for the initial phase of the upcoming season, Flower explained that the franchise decided to release him.

Despite Hazlewood’s proficiency with the new ball, he was omitted from the list of retained players unveiled by the franchises last Sunday. Having joined the Bangalore-based team before the 2022 season, Hazlewood’s appearances were limited to just three matches this year due to an injury.

Flower clarified that Hazlewood’s absence for the first half of IPL 2024 was due to the impending arrival of his baby at the end of March. Speaking to nine.com.au, the former Zimbabwean skipper conveyed:

“I’ve just spoken with Josh. He’s expecting a baby by the end of March, which is fantastic news. Consequently, Josh won’t be available, at least for the initial phase of the season. Letting go of players is a complex matter. We hold great respect for them and value their contributions to the team. These decisions are crucial as they impact individuals’ careers, and Mo and I take that responsibility very seriously. We’ve dedicated ample discussion and consideration to these choices.”

RCB still holds the opportunity to reacquire the Australian seamer in the auction, where he secured an impressive ₹7.75 crore in the 2022 mega auction by the franchise. Hazlewood played a pivotal role in Australia’s triumph in the sixth ODI World Cup. He featured in all 11 matches of the tournament, claiming 16 wickets, including two crucial scalps in the final against India in Ahmedabad.

Guided by Australia’s renowned pace trio of Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, and Pat Cummins, the team restricted India to 240 runs in 50 overs. Travis Head’s spectacular 137 propelled his side to a six-wicket victory in the final.

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