The eight Indian Premier League teams are in the final stages of preparation before flying out to the United Arab Emirates. While there is still ambiguity over the exact travelling schedule of the teams, it has been learnt that all the outfits will leave between August 20 and 23 via chartered flights.
Sportstar understands Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad are likely to fly out together in a chartered flight from Mumbai on August 23, while Chennai Super Kings will leave on August 21. “All our Indian players and support staff will be travelling together from Chennai after our scheduled camp (scheduled to be held from August 16-20),” CSK CEO, Kasi Viswanathan, told this publication. The players will be tested once before they reach Chennai and on arrival, there would be two further tests.
Mumbai Indians has already started training sessions for its domestic players on the outskirts of Mumbai, and it is believed that the team will leave for the UAE on August 21.
As far as Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals are concerned, both the franchises are likely to leave from Mumbai on August 20-21 via separate chartered flights.
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Even though Mumbai and the State of Maharashtra are badly hit with the coronavirus pandemic, most of the teams have preferred to assemble in Mumbai and then fly out. “The main reason is connectivity. Since we have many players in the various parts of the country, it would be easy to bring everyone in Mumbai and then go together. We will take all the precautionary measures,” one of the franchise bosses said.
Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore, however, are expected to fly ‘directly’ from Bengaluru. A couple of days ago, Royal Challengers Bangalore chairman, Sanjeev Churiwala, told this publication that all the players and staff will assemble in Bengaluru this week and would be quarantined before flying out in the “last week of August.” It has been learnt that they would also be reaching UAE by August 23.
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As things stand now, Chennai Super Kings is the only team which will officially hold a camp in the country. The other franchise officials, however, have told this publication that they will “get the ball rolling” by September 1. “Our idea is to reach Dubai and complete all the formalities and the rules by August 31 and then get into the training mode for the next couple of weeks,” one of the franchise officials, who have been part of the tournament since its inception, said.
While the preparation is in full swing, the franchises are a bit unclear about their schedule in the UAE. “We are waiting for the final schedule of the tournament so that we can finalise our plans accordingly. We need to see where the games are and accordingly, things need to be sorted,” a franchise official said.
BCCI recce team to travel to the UAE
A top-level BCCI delegation is expected to reach the UAE “by third week” of August to do a recce of the venues and the other facilities. The team, comprising some of the top officials of the Board, will have to ‘self quarantine’ themselves for six days before going about their business. “A team will be there (soon),” IPL Governing Council chairman, Brijesh Patel, told Sportstar without divulging further details.
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