The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a lot being affected in the world of entertainment. From concerts being cancelled to cricket matches being delayed, 2020 has witnessed a great amount of lows. As people learn to adapt to the ‘new normal’ with social distancing and other precautionary measures in place, the Indian Premier League is all set to run from September 19, 2020 to November 10, 2020 in the UAE. While it is not clear whether the leading Twenty20 cricket league will open to full stadiums this time around, the players are all set to fly down to Dubai this week as they prepare for the upcoming tournament.
Earlier, it was reported that all teams will observe a six-day quarantine period upon reaching Dubai. The decision was taken after a meeting was held between the owners of all IPL teams. With more information coming in, it has now been confirmed that the Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals will arrive in the Gulf emirate on Thursday. Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians will arrive on Friday. Delhi Daredevils will arrive on Saturday while Sunrisers Hyderabad are expected to be the last team to enter Dubai on Sunday.
A delegation of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), led by IPL chairman Brijesh Patel, will arrive on Saturday. Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders will be based in Abu Dhabi and the other six teams will be staying in Dubai. Due to BCCI’s Covid-19 guidelines, all teams will be staying in separate hotels. The players will not only be in quarantine for one week but they will also undergo three PCR tests during the time. ‘‘We are following the robust testing protocols set by the BCCI. We have booked a charter for our team, management and support staff including net bowlers to take us to the UAE. Upon arrival in the UAE, we will undergo another test followed by our six-day quarantine. during which three tests will be conducted on Day 1, 3 and 6. If all three tests return negative, the members of the team will enter the bio secure environment and undergo tests every fifth day for the entire tournament,’’ Jake Lush McCrum, COO of Rajasthan Royals, told a Gulf News reporter. Australian and England players who are currently gearing up to compete against each other in the UK will possibly miss the first IPL match due to their late arrival and quarantine responsibilities. These include bigwigs like Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer.