New Delhi: The ball has been set rolling and the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises are also warming up. Some IPL franchises are planning to take their own practice bowlers to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This is because the bio-secure ‘bubble’ surrounding the Twenty20 tournament prevents franchises from using local cricketers. This information was provided by officials of several franchises, Friday.
The IPL was scheduled to begin in late March but was indefinitely postponed due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in India. Now the government has given permission to the BCCI to host the tournament in the UAE.
Strict bio-security measures are being put in place for the 53-day tournament, which begins September 19. The eight teams participating in the IPL will have to arrange their own net bowlers while maintaining health protocols.
“We’re planning to take around eight-10 net bowlers,” Chennai Super Kings (CSK) chief executive Kasi Viswanathan said. “We have a list of players from Tamil Nadu to pick from and most of them will be first class cricketers,” Viswanathan added. CSK would hold a training camp in Chennai from Sunday before flying to the UAE August 21, he informed.
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) chief executive Satish Menon confirmed they too would fly with their own set of net bowlers. “Around seven of them will join the players in Delhi and Bangalore before we leave on the 20th,” Menon stated.
Delhi Capitals said they were yet to finalise how many net bowlers they would take when the players fly out next week. “We haven’t made a decision on how many, but there will be net bowlers travelling with us,” official Dheeraj Malhotra informed.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) franchises will also follow suit, according to local media reports.
However, Rajasthan will have to fly without fielding coach Dishant Yagnik. He has tested positive for COVID-19. He must return five negative results — two in India and three in the UAE — before he can rejoin the side.
KXIP dismissed media reports that batsman Karun Nair had recently recovered after contracting COVID-19. He had some mild fever, that’s all. Nothing to do with coronavirus. He’s perfectly alright,” Menon said.