The Royal Challengers Bangalore have replaced Australian Josh Philippe with New Zealander Finn Allen for the 2021 Indian Premier League.
Philippe debuted for Bangalore during the 2020. However, he is unavailable for this year's tournament due to personal reasons.
Fellow wicketkeeper-batsman Allen is uncapped at international level, but has been in fine form for Wellington in the Ford Trophy and Super Smash in New Zealand.
“The RCB management is disappointed to lose a player of Josh's calibre for this IPL season, but at the same time we fully understand, respect and support his decision of excluding himself from the tournament,” read a statement for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
“We had to select the next best option from the list of players registered for the IPL auction, at the same base price as Josh (20 lakh). We spent a great amount of time working through that potential list and have selected Finn as a top-order batting replacement.”
What Allen Said
The 21-year-old Allen's talent was particularly evident during the Super Smash earlier this year. He struck consecutive half-centuries against Auckland and the Central Districts. A month later, he welcomed a century against Otago in the Ford Trophy.
“For me, there are no expectations. It has kind of always been that way for me – I'm just going out there and enjoying what I am doing. Just trying to win the title for Wellington, and if more than that comes out of it, it would be awesome,” Allen told ESPNcricinfo earlier this year.
“Obviously going to the IPL would be pretty amazing – that's almost my dream for a long time now, so yeah hopefully get lucky and get picked up. But, obviously no expectations, and if it doesn't happen, there's always the future.”
Hesson on Allen
RCB's director of cricket is former New Zealand head coach Mike Hesson, who suggested Allen had been preferred to opening batsman Colin Munro.
The hard-hitting Munro enjoyed a good 2020-21 Big Bash League campaign in Australia with the Perth Scorchers. He was due to play in the Pakistan Super League, too, but later withdrew.
“From a New Zealand point of view, once again I'm not so sure about Colin right now. I think he has played a lot of cricket and once again you what he can do. You can bring him in if you need to,” said Hesson.
“Finn is the exciting one, isn't he? It's a matter of whether you can fit him in there. Often players need to have a breakout season like that just to get their first opportunity before you find out that they're actually really good.”