New Delhi, Apr 5: The Indian Premier League 2018 will not feature two Australian bigwigs due to a recent controversy that rocked the cricket world. Three other Australians have been ruled out of the tournament due to injuries. This has presented five cricketers with an opportunity of a lifetime. South Africa’s Heinrich Klaasen, New Zealand’s Corey Anderson, England’s Tom Curran, New Zealand’s Mitchell McClenaghan and England’s Alex Hales were not picked up by any IPL team in the January auction, but now, due to unavailability of five top Australian players, these cricketers have been picked up by franchises for their base price.

Former Australian captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner have been banned by Cricket Australia for one year for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal. Mitchell Starc, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Jason Behrendorf have been ruled out due to injuries. The unavailability of these Australians has prompted the teams to pick these cricketers as their replacements.

South Africa’s Heinrich Klaasen has been bought for Rs 50 lakh by Rajasthan Royals as a replacement for Steve Smith. Nathan Coulter-Nile will not be able to play for RCB; Corey Anderson has been picked up for Rs 2 crore as his replacement. Tom Curran has replaced Mitchell Starc in KKR. Mumbai Indians’Jason Behrendorf has been replaced by Mitchell McClenaghan for Rs 2 crore. Alex Hales will replace David Warner in Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The IPL 2018 will kick off on April 7 with a match between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.