India’s white-ball specialist Shreyas Iyer’s much-anticipated comeback to competitive cricket has been delayed as he is yet to recover completely from shoulder surgery, forcing him to withdraw from Lancashire’s Royal London Cup campaign. Iyer had sustained a left shoulder dislocation earlier this year during an ODI match against England in Pune and had to go under the knife in the UK.

Iyer started hitting the nets recently but it is understood that he is far from being ready for the July 22-August 18 tournament. “Following discussions between the Club and the BCCI, as well as the players’ representatives, it was agreed that Iyer would remain in India ahead of his return to cricket in due course,” the Lancashire County said in a statement.

The 26-year-old Iyer had sustained a shoulder injury during the ODI series against England and after that he underwent surgery. As a result of this, he was also ruled out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 which was since suspended with an eye on the COVID-19 situation and will now be completed in UAE.

Iyer has been on the road to recovery after shoulder surgery and was named in a list of 45 cricketers announced by the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) for a fitness camp ahead of the domestic season.

“I am gutted to not be able to play for Lancashire this summer, a Club that has such history and ambition. I hope to play at Emirates Old Trafford for Lancashire at some point in the future,” Iyer said.

Director of Cricket, Paul Allott said: “We are obviously very disappointed, as we were thoroughly looking forward to welcoming Shreyas to Emirates Old Trafford. Ultimately Shreyas’ long-term fitness is of paramount importance and Lancashire Cricket fully respects the decision.

“We wish Shreyas all the best with the remainder of his recovery, and from the conversations which I have had with the player, believe that this is an arrangement he would be keen to revisit again in the future.”

The right-handed batsman has said he will in all likelihood be available for the Delhi Capitals when the IPL 2021 season resumes in the UAE in September. The remaining half of the 14th edition of the IPL is set to be played in the UAE from September 19 to October 15.