Galaxy of IPL stars descends on UAE ahead of cricket’s biggest show - GulfToday

Galaxy of IPL stars descends on UAE ahead of cricket’s biggest show


Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore team reached the UAE on Friday. After landing in Dubai, Kohli tweeted a picture of himself showing a thumbs-up sign, with the Dubai skyline, in the background. Courtesy: Twitter

Creme de la creme of Indian Premier League (IPL) including defending champions Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings landed in the UAE on Friday for cricket’s biggest T20 extravaganza, which has witnessed some heart-stopping moments over the past 12 editions.

The 13th edition IPL is slated to take place from Sept.19 to Nov.10. Initially scheduled to start in March, the 2020 edition of the IPL was postponed due to the rise in coronavirus pandemic cases in India.

Now, the IPL 2020 will be played across three venues in the UAE — Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai.

All three teams posted their departure photos on social media. The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK held a brief training camp in Chennai before flying out.

CSK had the six-day long conditioning camp between Aug.15 and 20 in Chennai. Senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh did not depart for Dubai with the rest of the squad due to personal reasons.

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will begin a three-week training camp with Indian and international players along with Mike Hesson and Simon Katich from Aug.29 after a one-week isolation at their hotel in Dubai.

RCB skipper Virat Kohli took to his official Instagram handle and shared a picture of himself with the caption, “Hello Dubai.” Notably, Kohli wasn’t seen in the post shared by RCB earlier on Friday and the fans speculated that he might travel on his own.

Kohli’s team-mate Yuzvendra Chahal was quick to notice his skipper’s Instagram post and came up with a hilarious comment, saying “Hello from same hotel bhaiya #neighbours.”

Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have failed to lift the coveted trophy till now and that would be something which Kohli would definitely like to change when the IPL 2020 gets underway in UAE.

Kohli has played 177 matches for RCB so far and has managed to score 5,412 runs in the tournament. He also picked up the Orange Cap in 2016 edition after scoring 973 runs, including four centuries and seven half-centuries.

RCB are now one of the six teams which have reached the UAE. Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab players arrived in Dubai on Thursday evening while Kolkata Knight Riders landed in Abu Dhabi late in the night.

Malinga likely to miss initial games: Mumbai Indians seamer Lasith Malinga will not be available for the initial stages of the IPL due to personal reasons.

According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, the Sri Lankan bowler will not be travelling to the UAE with the Mumbai Indians squad as his father is ill.

“It is understood Malinga’s father has been ill and may require surgery in the coming weeks. The fast bowler wants to be by his side and will be training in Colombo,” the report said.

Last year, Malinga was in the middle of things as he helped the franchise get to their fourth IPL title with a scintillating last-over finish. He has played 122 games in the IPL, picking 170 wickets at an average of 19.80.

Meanwhile, Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad players are likely to reach the UAE on Saturday.

Delhi Capitals squad led by their captain Shreyas Iyer on Thursday gathered in Mumbai ahead of their departure. The franchise said that the squad and support staff members reached Mumbai in batches before leaving for the UAE.


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