According to Sportstar, it is understood that all the IPL franchises will depart for the United Arab Emirates for the 13th edition of the T20 League tentatively between August 20 to 23.
Here are the tentative dates:
Delhi Capitals: The Delhi based franchise have been allotted a chartered flight from Mumbai on August 23rd.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: The Kane Williamson led Sunrisers Hyderabad will travel in the same chartered flight as the Delhi Capitals from Mumbai.
The other two franchises to leave from Mumbai are:
Kolkata Knight Riders: The Bengal-based franchise will be leaving between August 20-21 on a chartered flight.
Rajasthan Royals: The inaugural IPL champions will be leaving in a similar timespan to the Kolkata Knight Riders, albeit in a different chartered flight.
Mumbai Indians: The 4-time IPL winners, who have been training their domestic players in the outskirts of Mumbai, are also scheduled to leave on the same date as the Chennai Super Kings.
Despite the fact that the entire state Maharashtra has been 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.
The two franchises other than the Chennai Super Kings not to travel from Mumbai are:
Kings XI Punjab: Kings XI are expected to take a direct flight to the UAE from Bengaluru.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: The franchise led by Indian captain Virat Kohli will leave for the UAE from their home city itself.
A couple of days ago, Royal Challengers Bangalore Chairperson, Sanjeev Churiwala, said 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 be reaching UAE by August 23.
Chennai Super Kings: The MS Dhoni led franchise, who were intending to reach UAE much earlier than all the other franchises, will now be leaving from Chennai 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),” Kasi Viswanathan, CSK Chief Executive, told Sportstar. The players will be tested once before they reach Chennai and on arrival, there would be two further tests.
ALSO READ: IPL 2020: 3 Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) Players who can win the Orange Cap in UAE | Most runs in IPL 2020
Chennai Super Kings are scheduled to be the only team to be officially holding 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.
The Chennai Super Kings, along with the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Delhi Capitals have confirmed that they are preparing a roster of net bowlers to prepare for the tournament, most of whom have been parts of domestic U23, U19 and first class Cricket teams.
Over the years, the norm has been to pick local fringe Cricketers as net bowlers, but the move has been taken due to the strict bio-security measures of the tournament.
“If all goes well, we are planning to take around 10 bowlers exclusively to UAE for the practice sessions. They will be accompanying the team and will remain till the tournament starts,” said Viswanathan.
KKR also confirmed that they will also have 10 net bowlers in their roster, who will probably be selected by former Mumbai captain and their academy coach Abhishek Nayar.
“It will be a blend of players of who have played Ranji Trophy while some of have played U-23 and U-19 national level tournaments,” a source in the KKR camp disclosed.
The Delhi Capitals will be taking around six net bowlers. “They will be staying with the squad and will travel with the team for the net sessions,” a franchise source said.
Although the Rajasthan Royals and the Royal Challengers Bangalore have not decided upon the number of bowlers to take, it is probable that the bowlers will be picked from the academies of the respective franchises.
A senior talent scout of a franchise said, “Someone like former India U-19 Aditya Thackeray could gain a lot if RCB decides to take him for net sessions where he can bowl to a Virat Kohli. Aditya is a part of RCB developmental squad.”
“On slow Dubai tracks, it will be important that teams stack up their line-up with more spinners especially for humid conditions. You will see a lot of left-arm spinners and wrist spinners who have played a decent level cricket being included apart from the pacers,” the talent scout added.
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.
A top-level BCCI delegation is expected to reach the UAE “by third week” of August to conduct an inspection 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 said.