Nathan Ellis, an up-and-coming Australian cricketer who was called into the national squad as a T20 World Cup travelling reserve, has signed with Punjab Kings. The decision comes after Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith, two of their Australian recruits, were ruled out of the Indian Premier League’s UAE leg in 2021.

Ellis is expected to provide the Kings with a vital cushion in the fast-bowling department in the absence of Richardson and Meredith. He has capped a remarkable year in which he rose from the outskirts of Australian domestic cricket to a hat-trick on international debut against Bangladesh and was named one of Australia’s three reserve players for the T20 World Cup.

It is believed that the franchise was unaware that Jhye and Riley would be unavailable for the remainder of the season until August 18, and that they would not be participating in the IPL next month until Cricket Australia’s press release on August 19.

Ellis, 26, scored a hat-trick on debut against Bangladesh in the recently finished 1-4 series in Dhaka. In two T20Is, he has taken five wickets. After a good Big Bash League season for the Hobart Hurricanes last year, where he claimed 20 wickets, Ellis broke into the Australian team. Ellis remained unsold in the IPL auction earlier this year, with a base price of INR 20 lakh.

All Australians have been cleared for the IPL by CA, subject to their fitness and willingness, with the players making the final decision. Most players, with the exception of vice-captain Pat Cummins, who confirmed his unavailability a few months ago, are anticipated to play in the UAE leg of the IPL 2021 because the T20 WC would be held there.