Harry Brook withdraws from IPL 2024 because of grandmother’s death

England batter Harry Brook has withdrawn from IPL 2024 because his grandmother died in February and he wants to be around his family while they are grieving.

“I can confirm that I have made the very difficult decision not to play in the upcoming IPL,” Brook said in a statement. “I was so excited to be picked by Delhi Capitals and was so looking forward to joining up with everyone. Whilst I don’t think I should need to share my personal reasons behind this decision, I know there will be many asking why. So I do want to share this.

“I lost my grandmother last month – she was a rock to me and I spent a huge amount of my childhood in her home; my attitude to life and love for cricket was shaped by her and my late grandfather. When at home, there would hardly be a day go by that didn’t include seeing her. It makes me so happy that she was able to see me play cricket for England. I’m proud that she could collect some of the awards I have won over the last couple of years when I couldn’t be there and I know she enjoyed doing that.

“I made the decision to leave the India Test tour the night before we flew from Abu Dhabi to India because I was told for the first time that my grandmother was ill and didn’t have long left,” he added. “Now that she has passed my family and I are grieving and I need to be around them. Over the last few years I have learned to prioritise my mental wellbeing and that of my family’s, honestly nothing is more important to me than family. So whilst this may come as surprising to some, I know it’s the right decision for me. I’m young and hope to have many, many more years of cricket to come which I intend to make the absolute most of.

“I couldn’t be more grateful for the support I have received, especially from the ECB and Delhi Capitals, thank you.”

Brook’s statement comes ten days before Capitals play their first match of the season – against Punjab Kings on March 23 in Mullanpur. There has been no information on whether Capitals will look for a replacement player for Brook, whom they had bought for INR 4 crore (US$ 482,000 approximately) at the auction in December.

Brook, 25, made his IPL debut in the 2023 season after Sunrisers Hyderabad bought him for INR 13.25 crore (US$ 1.6 million approximately) based on the power-hitting he displayed in the T20Is in Pakistan in 2022. In his maiden IPL season, however, Brook scored only 190 runs in 11 matches at a strike rate of 123.37; one of those innings was an unbeaten 100 off 55 balls against KKR.

The Capitals co-owner Parth Jindal had told ESPNcricinfo that the team management led by Sourav Ganguly and Ricky Ponting had slotted Brook as No.6 to add strength to a batting order comprising David Warner, Prithvi Shaw, Mitchell Marsh and Rishabh Pant.

Brook’s absence leaves Capitals with an overseas roster comprising Warner, Marsh, Tristan Stubbs, Shai Hope, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje and Jhye Richardson. Capitals had finished ninth out of ten last season, having won only five out of 14 games under Warner’s captaincy. They will be led in IPL 2024 by Pant, who was given clearance to play as a wicketkeeper-batter by the BCCI after recovering from injuries suffered in a car accident in December 2022.

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