Murali Vijay has stayed away from cricket on his own accord because he is hesitant to take the COVID-19 vaccine. Despite his domestic achievements and 3982 Test runs, a comeback in the near future may be impossible. The 37-year-old out-of-favour India opener had made himself unavailable for selection since representing Chennai Super Kings in the IPL 2020 because he didn’t want to stay inside the bio-bubble, which is part of the BCCI’s standard operating procedures for hosting its events.

As a result, his name was not considered by the Tamil Nadu selectors for the upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. According to sources within the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), even if the veteran batter shows a desire to return to the state team, it will be “very tough.”

“He’d have to return to training, prove his fitness, and prove his form before playing matches,” a source added.

Vijay has not contacted the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) since withdrawing from the Tamil Nadu squad for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy last December. “In December of last year, Vijay wrote to say that he would not be available for selection for the Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He hasn’t returned to the TNCA since then, and we have no idea what’s on his mind”, according to a source within the association.

“Vijay is believed to be apprehensive about getting the vaccine, which is a personal choice. He’s also claimed to be uncomfortable with the BCCI’s regular operating procedure of keeping him in a bio-bubble. Vijay’s refusal to do so is a problem because the Board’s SOP requires players to enter the bubble ahead of time and stay there as long as they are on the squad. Where is the possibility of him getting selected for the state squad now that he has not written about his availability? In addition, he does not appear to be a fan of vaccinations “,a new source added.

Attempts to contact Vijay elicited no response. The right-hander last represented his country in Australia in December 2018, scoring nearly 4000 runs in 61 Tests, including 12 hundreds and 15 half-centuries.