Sunrisers Hyderabad openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow will have to go through two Covid tests and a week…Read More
MUMBAI: With the white ball series between England and Australia set to conclude on September 16 and the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) set to begin on the 19th, the likes of David Warner, Steve Smith, Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, Pat Cummins and some others appear unlikely to join their respective teams until the end of the event’s first week.
The UAE government, in the middle of putting their own Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place for this year’s edition, will make it compulsory for any overseas traveller arriving there to undergo a week’s quarantine, including two Covid tests.
If Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals, for instance, do end up playing a game in the opening week, both will have to miss out on their services of their respective captains – Warner & Smith – until their quarantine week is over.
These are among the multiple precautionary measures that are being planned for the tournament as the threat of the virus remains.
Meanwhile, all cricket boards – who will see their respective cricketers participating in the IPL – have given their NOCs for the IPL and the onus will now be on the franchises to fly these players to UAE and back. The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is scheduled to conclude on September 10 and the players involved in the final will reach UAE before the end of the second week, a week ahead of the start of the tournament.
The Sri Lankan Premier League will also be on until mid-September, but the IPL is unlikely to be affected by any absence except for the possibility of Lasith Malinga missing out on the first week.
“Player availability is not the concern any more. It’s about getting them to UAE and seeing them through the quarantine window,” say those in the know. Despite the IPL Governing Council not announcing the date for an official meeting – still waiting for the official go-ahead from the centre – the franchises have started to make their respective bookings, including accommodation and travel.
The Team India support staff, including physiotherapist Nitin Patel and trainer Nick Webb will be in the UAE during the IPL to coordinate with players of the national team who will tour Australia after the league. “They have coordinated with the players for over the last four months through video conferencing. In UAE, they’ll have the opportunity for better interaction,” say those making the necessary arrangements.
The BCCI and Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) are sharing accommodation details with the franchises with discounted rates. It is now for the franchises to consider it or make their own arrangements.