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IPL 2020

IPL 2020: New challenge begins after teams' arrival in UAE Filed on August 23, 2020
Sunrisers Hyderabad pace bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar gives the thumbs up after arriving in Dubai (Sunrisers Twitter)

The task of keeping the mental health in top shape in a bio-secure bubble for almost three months is going to be a huge challenge for these players

With the arrival of the Delhi Capitals and the Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai on Sunday, we now have all eight franchises of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in these shores for 53-day cricketing carnival that will start on September 19 and end on November 10.

Having undergone Covid-19 tests before embarking on their trip to the UAE, the Delhi and Hyderabad teams will join the rest of the franchises in following the strict Covid-19 protocols, including the six-day quarantine before they could start their pre-tournament training camps at the world-class facilities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) have left no stone unturned in their attempt to deliver a safe and successful tournament amid a global health crisis, the players still have a fight on their hands.

The task of keeping the mental health in top shape in a bio-secure bubble for almost three months is going to be a huge challenge for these players.

To overcome this challenge, players will need to create a family vibe within their respective teams.

The Rajasthan Royals, the first franchise to arrive in the UAE for the richest league in the world, have already planned a lot of events to keep the players' spirit high.

Jaydev Unadkat, who will share the new ball with England's World Cup and Ashes hero Jofra Archer for the Royals, says a family-like atmosphere in the team will be key.

"I feel first and foremost, it'll be important to bond well and have that family bonding vibe within the team given that they are going to be the ones you'll be spending all the time with," the 28-year-old left-arm pace bowler told Khaleej Times.

"As far as Rajasthan Royals go, I think we have a very good family-like atmosphere here. It's also important to keep in touch with your family back home so that you're not missing out on a lot of home time and missing your near and dear ones.

"Apart from that I think everything else remains almost the same, yes, we can't go out for dinners and movies but then I'm sure the team management have planned for that. We'll be having a lot of team events and bonding sessions and will be spending a lot of time with each other."

The bio-secure bubble, according Unadkat, will help the players know their teammates even better.  

"I feel that will be important as it will get us all to know each other better, connect with players from different states and countries. This year especially, it'll be even more important as we'll be spending a lot more time together," said Unadkat, who is hoping the make a comeback into the Indian team.

The 2020 edition of the tournament in the UAE, according to Unadkat, will inject hope at a time when the world is going through a lot of pain.

"It means a lot to have cricket back after a long break for the entire cricketing fraternity. Even more so for our fans and for our country, we are in the midst of a pandemic and given the situation in India, everyone would need some motivation, inspiration, and some form of change," he said.

"At some point everyone has gone through some challenging times during this pandemic. I don't think there's a better event than the IPL for now to bring everyone closer.

"Although this time around it is not in India I'm still pretty sure that people all over India will be watching it and would gain some form of positivity from it. So yeah, I feel it's important that the IPL is happening."


Rituraj Borkakoty

A big fan of the Argentina national football team, Rituraj generally writes on sports. But he deeply cherishes the time he spent with his favourite musician from Assam, India, for an interview. And he loves to bring human interest stories to Khaleej Times readers.

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