Mumbai Indians opener Lendl Simmons has been ruled out of the remainder of the IPL 2016 due to an injury to his lower back. New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill has been named as Simmons’ replacement.
Simmons’ injury is similar to the one that forced him to withdraw from the first stage of the World T20 last month. He later joined the West Indies team for the tournament, in place of the injured Andre Fletcher, and scored a crucial 51-ball 82 not out in the semi-final against India in Mumbai.
Simmons was the best batsman for Mumbai Indians during their title run in IPL 2015, scoring 540 runs in 13 matches at a strike-rate of 122.41 with six half-centuries. Overall, he has scored 942 runs in 22 matches for Mumbai Indians since 2014. He was out for 8 in Mumbai’s opening game against Rising Pune Supergiants last week.
Guptill was unsold during the player auction in February, despite being listed as one of the marquee players at a base price of INR 50 lakh. The opening batsman was the highest run-getter in the 2015 World Cup, scoring 547 runs in nine matches, including a knock of 237 against West Indies in the quarter-final. Guptill’s overall T20 record stands at 4684 runs from 155 matches with two centuries, including one against South Africa in December 2012. Guptill has also played in the Caribbean Premier League for Guyana Amazon Warriors and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, apart from stints with Derbyshire and Sydney Thunder. (Guptill has also been named as Captain of the Guyana Amazon Warriors team for the upcoming 2016 CPL tournament).