South Africa and Delhi Daredevils allrounder JP Duminy has withdrawn himself from the tenth season of the IPL, citing "personal" reasons. Duminy informed the franchise of his decision on Monday, 16 days before the start of the tournament. The franchise has not yet named a replacement.
Although both the player and franchise did not elaborate on the reason specifically, it is understood that Duminy wanted to focus on the South Africa assignments in the near future. South Africa are currently involved in a Test series in New Zealand. They then head to England for a three-match ODI series, beginning on May 24, followed by the Champions Trophy. Their tour then continues with three T20s and four Tests.
"It has been a very difficult decision for me to make, but it was for purely personal reasons," Duminy was quoted as saying by Daredevils in a media release. "I certainly hope to play a part for the franchise in the near future."
Duminy is the fifth-highest scorer for Daredevils with 1015 runs in 38 matches at a strike rate of 130.79. He even captained the side in two matches in the previous season. Zaheer Khan, who captained them in the rest of the tournament in 2016, will again lead this season.
That the IPL ends 10 days prior to the Champions Trophy might have influenced Duminy's decision. ESPNcricinfo has also learnt that the South African players are likely to stay in the IPL till mid-May, before departing to the UK for a preparatory camp ahead of the Champions Trophy. Previously, the South African players were set to leave after May 7. A final decision on whether they would be allowed to feature in the play-off matches would be taken during the latter part of the tournament.
Daredevils are also sweating on the availability of Sri Lanka allrounder Angelo Mathews, who was bought for INR 2 crore at the auction. Mathews suffered a hamstring injury in the second T20 international against South Africa in Johannesburg in January, and has not played since, missing the subsequent T20 series in Australia and Test series at home against Bangladesh. Corey Anderson, Kagiso Rabada and Pat Cummins were Daredevils' other overseas signings at the auction.