New Delhi: Josh Hazlewood has opted out of IPL 2021 to take rest from cricket and spend time with his family for the next two months. The Australian pacer was to represent three-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings at the upcoming season which is set to get underway from April 9.

Hazelwood has been part of various bio-bubbles since July last year when Australia toured England for white-ball matches before he flew to UAE to link up with his franchise CSK for IPL 2020. After that, he flew home but only to enter another bubble and this time for the home series against India which ended mid of January this year.

“It’s been a long 10 months in bubbles and quarantine at different times, so I decided to have a rest from cricket and spend some time at home and in Australia in the next two months,” Hazlewood told cricket.com.au on Wednesday.

Hazlewood, along with his other Australian teammates, was scheduled to fly to India for IPL 2021 but has instead decided to keep himself fresh for the big international schedule that awaits Australia. “We’ve got a big winter ahead too. The West Indies is going to be a long tour, with Bangladesh (T20 tour) potentially thrown on the end of that,” he said.

“Then potentially the T20 World Cup leading into the Ashes, so it’s a big 12 months, as it always is with Australia, and I want to give myself the best chance to be mentally and physically ready for that. That’s the decision I’ve made, and it sits pretty well with me,” he added.

Hazlewood is the third Australian player after Joshua Phillipe (Royal Challengers Bangalore) and Mitchell Marsh (Sunrisers Hyderabad) to have withdrawn from IPL this season.

IPL was held in UAE last year due to the then coronavirus situation in India. In the season opener this time around, defending champions Mumbai Indians will lock horns with RCB in Chennai.