Bayliss to skip Sydney Thunder’s BBL match against Adelaide Strikers for IPL auction

Trevor Bayliss, Sydney Thunder’s head coach, will miss his team’s Big Bash League fixture against Adelaide Strikers on Tuesday night in order to attend the IPL auction in Dubai on behalf of Punjab Kings.
Bayliss travelled to India midway through the 2022-23 BBL in order to take part in last year’s auction, but his trip this year will see him miss a fixture in his role at home. Other coaches have previously left leagues in order to attend the IPL auction, such as Andy Flower in early 2022.

Daniel Vettori, Australia’s assistant coach, flew to Dubai immediately after their Test victory over Pakistan in Perth to fulfil his duties as Sunrisers Hyderabad’s new coach, while Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting was not part of Channel 7’s commentary team on the fourth day. Justin Langer, Lucknow Super Giants’ new coach, delayed his travel until after the Test.

But it is Bayliss’ absence from the dugout on Tuesday, and his choice to prioritise the auction for one league over a match involving his own team in another, that lays the IPL’s dominance bare.

Bayliss became Thunder coach ahead of the 2021-22 BBL and has taken the team to the play-offs in both seasons that he has overseen so far. Thunder lost their opening match of the season to Brisbane Heat last week, and face the Strikers at Adelaide Oval on Tuesday.

Shawn Bradstreet, Bayliss’ assistant, will deputise as interim head coach in his absence. Thunder said in a statement: “Bayliss is due to return for the Thunder’s clash against Melbourne Stars in Albury later this week.”

Kings appointed Bayliss as coach in 2022 but he was unable to end their streak of failing to qualify for the IPL’s knockout stages, which has now lasted for nine successive seasons.

Kings have INR 29.1 crore to spend at Tuesday’s auction, with space to add eight more players to their squad, of which two can be overseas signings. “We don’t think we need to strengthen up a whole heap,” Bayliss told Kings’ in-house channels.

“But I suppose the possibility of strengthening in two or three areas we think will make us a stronger team next year… We want to play a positive, aggressive brand of cricket so we’re looking for players to come into those two or three spots with that type of mindset.”

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