Mumbai Indians team players celebrate with the trophy after their victory against Chennai Super Kings in the 2019 IPL Twenty20 final at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad. File / AFP
Defending champions Mumbai Indians have started assembling slowly with most of the domestic players having arrived in Mumbai or arriving in the next couple of days.
The Indian stars are also set to join them in the next 7-8 days as they gear up for the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) to be played in the UAE.
Speaking to IANS, an MI official said that players have already started arriving and there is a strict protocol in place to ensure that nobody falls prey to the coronavirus.
"The domestic players have started to arrive and they all are sent into a 14-day quarantine wherein the only time they are allowed to exit the room is when they need to get their test done. Apart from that, all facilities are being provided inside the rooms.
"The India players are also expected to come in soon and they too will go through the quarantine phase. As and when a player's quarantine period is over, he is then given the go-ahead to start training at our ground," the official explained.
Asked about the testing part, the official explained that there will be five rounds of testing for the MI players by the time they take the plane to UAE.
"See, we have asked all the players to undergo two rounds of testing in their home city before they come to Mumbai. And here, we will do another three rounds of testing which we believe is good enough. There might be one or two cases wherein a player might not have had adequate facilities at home and managed to get just one test instead of two. But all in all, we are looking at five rounds of tests before heading to play the IPL for the players as well as the support staff," the official pointed.
Asked about the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), the official said that these are tough times and the franchise believes it is important to work in tandem with the BCCI and ensure smooth functioning.
"We are waiting for the SOP from the BCCI, but we do understand that these are unforeseen times and the pressure is already that much more on the board. We also have prepared our roadmap on how we are looking to approach the tournament and will integrate it with the SOP which the BCCI is expected to give us in the next couple of days. Patience is the key as nobody was prepared for such a turn of events," he said.
Commenting on when the team plans to leave, the official said: "Let's see. Maybe around Aug. 21 or 22. The final date hasn't been zeroed in on as yet. We should have a clearer picture after the meeting with the IPL Governing Council."
Indo-Asian News Service
I am sure there are many people like me who dread to read the dailies or switch on their TVs these days. There is nothing but coronavirus headlines, death toll, etc.
And all the eight franchises are eagerly awaiting the outcome of the meeting as they look to move into the final stages of preparations for the league to be played in the UAE this time round due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in its all-important Governing Council meeting of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has decided to hold the 13th edition of the league from Sept. 19 to Nov. 10.
Yamashita is one of three women picked by FIFA to be referees at the men's World Cup in Qatar, which opens on Nov.21. It's the first time a woman will be in charge on soccer's largest stage.
Djokovic has extra motivation this year as Wimbledon will be his last Slam of 2022. His continued refusal to get vaccinated means he will remain banned from entering the United States for the US Open later this summer.
Umran was handed a maiden call-up for the five-match T20 series against S.Africa at home, but the pacer did not get a chance. However, Umran is also part of the Hardik Pandya-led Indian team which is set to play two T20Is in Ireland.
Ralph Beckett-trained Westover won the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby with a dominant display at the Curragh Racecourse on Saturday. Ridden by Colin Keane, Westover romped home with seven lengths to spare over Piz Badile. French Claim finished third.