IPL 2022 – Shimron Hetmyer returns to Royals bubble, will be available for final game on May 20

IPL 2022 - Shimron Hetmyer returns to Royals bubble, will be available for final game on May 20
Shimron Hetmyer, who recently became a parent, has rejoined Rajasthan Royals and will be available for selection for their final league match, on May 20 against Chennai Super Kings.
Hours after scoring a high-impact 16-ball 31 in the victory against Punjab Kings on May 8, Hetmyer rushed back home to Guyana to be by the side of his wife Nirvani, who was due to give birth to their first child. Days later, Hetmyer announced the news of the birth of a baby boy via his social media account.

It is understood that Hetmyer is undergoing quarantine as per IPL protocol and will be out in time to train ahead of Royal’s final league match on Friday. Royals have emerged strong favorites to make the playoffs after an emphatic 24-run victory against Lucknow Super Giants on Sunday. The win also took Royals to the second position on the points table with eight wins from 13 matches.

Hetmyer, who was bought by Royals for INR 8.5 crore in the auction, has played a significant role in his team’s success in his role as a finisher: the West Indies’ left-hand batter has smashed 291 runs at an average of 72 while remaining undefeated in seven out of the 11 times he has batted this IPL. Hetmyer’s impact can also be gauged from the fact that his strike rate in the death overs – 214.28 – is the fifth-highest among the most destructive finishers this season. Such a dominant form was enough for West Indies’ selection panel, led by Desmond Haynes, to consider Hetmyer for the tours of Netherlands and Pakistan, where the Nicholas Pooran-led side are scheduled to play three-match ODI series each.

However, Haynes said during a media briefing that Hetmyer had told the selectors via email he was unavailable for the tours due to the birth of his child, but that he would be returning to the IPL.

“We got the email from Hetty saying that he is unavailable for selection because of the birth of his child,” Haynes said. “That is all the information we received so we acted that way; we had considered him for selection and the note stated he was unavailable.”

Hetmyer, 25, was West Indies’ leading run-maker at the T20 World Cup last year, but instead has made headlines over fitness issues. In December, West Indies’ head coach Phil Simmons said it was “heart wrenching” to see Hetmyer continue to fail to meet the fitness standards mandatory to make the cut for West indies. That meant that Hetmyer did not play in the home series against Ireland and England and then was left out of the series in India.

But while announcing the squad for the India tour, Haynes had pointed out that Hetmyer remains part of the selectors’ “plans” subject to him reaching the minimum fitness levels required.

“What we need to do is we need to put our arm around these guys and let them know that we are interested in their development,” Simmons had said. “To also [make them] understand that there’s a level of fitness that is required to play at international level. But Hetmyer is in our plans. There’s no question about it.”

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