IPL vs PSL: Andre Russell is the latest cricketer to join the cricket bandwagon that compares India’s cash-rich T20 Indian Premier League (IPL) with Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Russell will turn up for Quetta Gladiators in PSL this month. Pakistan’s T20 league was suspended midway in March this year after a flurry of positive Covid-19 cases found inside the bio-bubble. But the league is back this month with the rest of the matches set to be played in the UAE, as the game between Lahore Qalanders and Islamabad United set things in motion in the PSL.
Andre Russell was last seen in action for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL 2021. He is set to grace the cricket field once again for Quetta Gladiators.
In an interview leading up to the PSL 2021, the 33-year-old all-rounder touched on many subjects, like life in bio-bubble and its mental impact and how good PSL is.
“I play IPL, I play big bash or Caribbean Premier League. I play in other leagues around the world. And I’m definitely gonna say that PSL [is one of the top leagues around the world]. I just think it (quality of cricket and bowling talent) makes the league even tougher. So it’s among the top leagues,” said Russell.
The height of expectations from Andre Russell, ahead of any IPL game, is sometimes beyond inordinate. He is human but considered as Meta-Human by KKR fans. And Russell can look at his incredible past heroics, where he hauled KKR out of the trouble from seemingly improbable positions and get the win, as the reason for fans’ exorbitant expectations in him.
But Russell didn’t have the desired impact in KKR’s IPL 2021 campaign. His seven-wicket return in seven games misguides as five of those wickets came in one game alone, at the end of Mumbai Indians inning when the defending champions were hitting almost every ball.
Russell could manage only 163 runs in seven IPL 2021 games while recording only one fifty.
Andre Russell In IPL 2021 (as a batsman*)
Not Out: 01
Runs Scored: 163
High score: 54
Strike Rate: 155.23
Andre Russell In IPL 2021 (as a bowler*)
Balls Bowled: 60
Runs Given: 114
Such is the present situation that players have to remain inside the secured bio-bubble to mitigate the effect of Covid-19. The packed schedule also means that players’ social life is almost non-existent these days.
Andre Russell also said that the bubble life is taking a toll on him mentally.
“I think it’s taking a toll on myself,” Russell told Geo News from Abu Dhabi, where the rest of the PSL is scheduled to be played. “I can’t talk for any other player, or coaches or anyone that goes through this whole quarantine stuff. But it’s definitely taken a toll on me mentally because from bubble to bubble, in a room locked in, you can’t go out for a walk, you can’t go certain places, you can’t socialise, it’s different.
“But at the end of the day, I’m not being ungrateful, I’m grateful that we’re still playing, we’re still doing our job. So it’s tough for us. But even though we prepared for it, it still takes a toll.”
The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will conclude on September 19, while IPL 2021 second phase is likely to kick-start around the same time.
As per reports, Cricket West Indies has a packed schedule leading up to the T20 World Cup, scheduled to start in October this year. That’s why players such as Andre Russell, Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard may not be available for IPL franchises when IPL 2021 resumes in September in UAE.