Cricket: Blackcaps bowler Scott Kuggeleijn joins IPL's Royal Challengers Bangalore

  • 28/04/2021

Blackcaps bowler Scott Kuggeleijn has received a late call-up to the Indian Premier League's Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The Twenty20 specialist is stepping in as a reserve player to replace Australian Kane Richardson, who has decided to return home, due to India's worsening COVID-19 situation.

The 29-year-old, who has played 16 T20 internationals and two one-day internationals for New Zealand, last featured in the IPL in 2019, when he was a member of Chennai Super Kings.

Kuggeleijn becomes the 10th Kiwi player participating in the IPL, joining fellow Blackcaps Kane Williamson, Kyle Jamieson, and Finn Allen at Royal Challengers, who currently sit atop the IPL ladder.

Richardson is one of several players to have withdrawn from the competition in light of the virus spike on the subcontinent, along with the likes of Indian star Ravi Ashwin and fellow Aussie international Adam Zampa.

According to NZ players association boss Heath Mills, none of the Kiwi IPL contingent have expressed any interest in making an early exit to the relative safety of New Zealand.

"They're anxious about what they see happening around them, as we are, watching from here with the COVID-19 situation," Mills has told Newshub. "It's clearly horrific. 

"But they also know it's their job, it's their work, and they have complete trust in the IPL, and the BCCI and the Indian Government to do the right thing.

"The players are comfortable being there and no-one has indicated to me that they wish to come home."