After a long wait, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Indian Premier Leauge (IPL) 2020 is closer than ever. On August 20, Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders franchises were the first teams to land in the UAE. They were followed by Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore arriving the UAE on August 21. The last set to reach the 2020 IPL host nation were the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
All teams were asked to strictly abide by a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that included rules for all players and support staff to remain quarantined for a six-day period in Dubai and the teams in Abu Dhabi will have to complete a 14-day quarantine period.
For the teams set up in Dubai, the quarantine period ends on Thursday, August 27. And all players, many of whom were seen indoor training in their hotels, will now have access to outdoor training as teams will start their pre-season camp tomorrow.
While Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians and Dinesh Karthik-led Kolkata Knight Riders are in quarantine in Abu Dhabi, CSK and RCB will start their camp in Dubai as the quarantine phase has come to an end.
In these past 7 days, several players including Bengaluru skipper Virat Kohli, CSK mainstay Suresh Raina and RCB mainstay AB de Villiers, were seen training indoors. RCB in fact, shared a video of their skipper turning his hotel balcony into a gym.
De Villiers took to Instagram to post a photo of him ready with his training gear and announcing that he is ready for outdoor training. The Bengaluru-based franchise is going to train in batches, according to their Director of Cricket Mike Hesson.
Rajasthan Royals team were seen training, on Thursday, after having completed their mandatory quarantine period. The Chennai Super Kings were the only team to have held a training camp before arriving to the UAE.
The much-awaited IPL season kicks off on September 19. This won’t be the first time that the UAE would be hosting the marquee T20 league as the nation had partially hosted the 2014 edition of the IPL due to general elections in India at that time. The thirteenth edition of the IPL, which was originally scheduled to begin on March 29, was indefinitely postponed by the BCCI due to COVID-19. It was only after the ICC postponed this year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, that the BCCI found a window to stage the cash-rich event, albeit outside the country.
In this edition, 60 fixtures will be played in a span of 53 days across three venues in the UAE – Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. As the two teams in Abu Dhabi, namely KKR and Mumbai Indians, have to be in quarantine for another week, the BCCI are yet to release a full schedule of the season, the final of which will be held on November 10.