Franchises set things in motion for IPL in the UAE

The Dubai International Cricket Stadium. - Supplied photo
The Dubai International Cricket Stadium. - Supplied photo

Dubai - Teams are looking at creating a biosecure bubble, hiring chartered planes and selecting hotels in the country



By James Jose

Published: Sat 18 Jul 2020, 8:30 PM

Last updated: Sat 18 Jul 2020, 10:35 PM

A biosecure bubble, chartered planes and hotel selections. There is no official word yet from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on the UAE playing hosts to the Indian Premier League (IPL) this season but franchises have already set things in motion with regard to the operations and logistics required by preparing a blueprint for the event to be held on these shores.
The 13th edition of the popular franchise-based cricket league, which was indefinitely put on ice because of the Covid-19 pandemic, is on the threshold of being held in the UAE, with the BCCI awaiting the fate of the T20 World Cup in Australia, before rubber stamping the move.
And according to reports emanating from India, the eight franchises - champions Mumbai Indians, runners-up Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Capitals, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals and the Sunrisers Hyderabad - have apparently been informed of the move overseas.
And the teams have already begun preparations by looking at booking chartered flights, hotels in the UAE and creating a biosecure bubble for their players.
The BCCI is apparently eyeing a September-November window for the event between September 26 and November 7.
"You need to be smart and plan early," a franchise official was quoted as saying by news agency IANS.
"We have been given the required inputs and are planning accordingly. We have actually decided on the hotel we wish to stay at in Abu Dhabi and how exactly we will go through the process of flying in and going through the necessary quarantine period once in UAE. We will obviously need to brush up with the then health guidelines of the country," the official added.
Another official of another franchise revealed that the team will undergo isolation in India before making the trip across the Arabian Sea.
"We are looking at having the boys come together in India. Go through a period of spending time in a bio-secure environment and then get our tests done and head to UAE," the official was quoted as saying.
"The reason behind that is we are all staying at home. So, if one of us is asymptomatic, we have the risk of infecting others. That is why it is better to go through a couple of weeks of isolation and testing here in the country before heading out," the official elaborated.
With restricted air travel, franchises are also looking at chartering planes to fly them out of India and to the UAE.
"I think most teams, if not all, are already looking at hiring chartered planes," the official said.
"You never know if we will have regular flights operating by the end of August and most teams would wish to be in the UAE by the last week of August or at max the first week of September. So, in such a scenario, the best way is to hire chartered planes as we will all have around 35-40 people flying to UAE. The number of members obviously increases a bit when you are headed outside and have restrictions in movement in times like these," the official added.
As far as foreign players, who are a massive draw in the IPL, franchises said that the players are likely to travel directly from their point of origin to the UAE rather than assembling in India.
james@khaleejtimes.com


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