Bairstow to turn down £650,000 Punjab Kings IPL deal to focus on Ashes
England’s dazzling batter-wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow will turn down £650,000 and miss this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) to focus on returning from injury in time for the Ashes this summer.
The 33-year-old will not head to the Subcontinent and the Punjab Kings to take up his contract with the IPL franchise in the world’s richest cricket league.
Bairstow suffered a badly broken leg last year after a freak accident on a golf course – the middle-order cricketer is back running but will not head to India.
He was paramount in kick starting England’s Bazball era last Summer and was integral series wins against South Africa, New Zealand and Pakistan – as well as in a singular Test against India.
In 2022 Baitstow topped 1,000 Test runs inside 19 innings, scoring six centuries at an average of 66.3.
The extended rehabilitation should see the wicketkeeper return to action for Yorkshire in the County Championship ahead of the one-off test against Ireland in June or the Ashes in the summer.
Many would have said the 33-year-old was undroppable before his injury but the incredible rise of Harry Brook leaves England captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum with tough selection dilemmas.
Captain Stokes will play for the Chennai Super League yet again with his £1.6m now set to be followed through despite the Test captain having a long-standing niggle in his leg.
Bairstow on the leg
At the time of his leg break late last year, Bairstow said: “The actual injury was as such… a broken fibula in 3 places which required a plate, I dislocated my ankle which in turn meant I did my syndesmosis joint and lateral ligament along with a couple more bits.
“All in all I have done a proper job on it!
“Anyway… on the positive side the operation went well and I am now 3 weeks post surgery and my staples have been removed. It’s now all about swelling prevention and getting my ankle moving once again.
“These next few weeks/couple of months are the key to the recovery.”