Mumbai: Australian all-rounder James Hopes, whose father has been diagnosed with bowel cancer, on Saturday put to rest all doubts surrounding his availability for Delhi Daredevils in the IPL, saying he will not leave the team midway and play the full season of the Twenty20 league.
The former Kings XI Punjab player, who was bought for USD 350,000 in January auctions this year by the Delhi outfit, said his father has asked him to stay on and do well for his new team.
"My Dad has asked me to stay on and play the full IPL and be with my team through and through," said Hopes, one of the key members of the Daredevils squad.”
"Yes, it is true that he has been diagnosed with it (cancer). But he is in great spirits. My mother is there with him and my elder brother, John, is also there in Brisbane.”
"There was never any question of my going back to Australia to be with him. I have been speaking to my Dad and family after I got to know about him on Wednesday. He (Dad) laughed and said, `I will kill you if you come back. I want you to play and do well`. I don`t know where those reports of the possibility of my going back came from," he added.
The Queensland all-rounder has represented Australia in 84 ODIs scoring 1,326 runs at a strike-rate of 93 and has also picked up 67 wickets with a best of 5/14.
Hopes said his father will be undergoing a surgery soon. "The doctors have been very positive. They feel the diagnosis has happened at the right time and he will be undergoing surgery soon. He will spend some time in the hospital and the process is a long one. But things are in control said the doctors," the Australian said.
The 32-year-old said the IPL is a perfect launch-pad for him to return to the national side after he narrowly missed out on a place in the Australia`s squad for the recently-concluded Cricket World Cup.
"These are early days and we have a good, solid team with young and experienced players. I hope to do well," he said. Hopes, who had visited India on Australia`s three previous tours in 2007, 2009 and 2010, said he is totally in love with delicious Indian curries and it never gets boring playing in this country.
"It is fun playing in India. It never gets boring," he added.