With the Indian Premier League 2020 all set to start in less than two weeks now, several overseas players belonging to several franchises are currently a part of the T20I and ODI series between England and Australia, in England.
Now, overseas players play a defining role in the franchises’ performance, and as reported by leading news daily, as many as seven franchises have decided to bring back 22 players who are a part of ongoing England vs Australia limited-overs series, directly to the UAE from Manchester via a charter flight. The decision has been taken by the franchises to avoid the six-day quarantine norm, by moving the players directly from the England bubble to the IPL bubble.
The third and final ODI of the England vs Australia series is scheduled to be played on September 16, just three days before the IPL starts, and if the franchises do not bring in the players via a charter flight maintaining the bubble, then the players will be under the mandatory quarantine, thus eventually missing out on the initial games for their respective teams. But, now, if the bubble will be maintained, then the players can be available for their team’s respective opening matches.
“It has all been taken care of. The idea is that they are not outside of the bubble. If we had flown them by commercial flights, they would have had to undergo quarantine.”, one of the franchise officials said to Mumbai Mirror.
The franchise official also feels that an expenditure of about 1 crore each for 22 players should not be an issue for the franchises, given the likes of Steve Smith (Rajasthan Royals), Jos Buttler (Rajasthan Royals), David Warner (Sunrisers Hyderabad), Aaron Finch (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Eoin Morgan (Kolkata Knight Riders), Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders), and Jofra Archer (Rajasthan Royals) will be able to play all the matches for the respective teams.
According to the report, the players will be boarding the charter flight, which will be fully sanitized, on September 17, after reaching the airport in a sanitized bus. The flight will not land at the Dubai International Airport, but at a separate airport, from where all the seven franchises will arrange separate vehicles for their players. The vehicles should have also been a part of the bio-bubble in Dubai or Abu Dhabi.
The only franchise who would not use the charter plane service is Mumbai Indians, as all their players have already arrived in the UAE.
However, the Kolkata Knight Riders players would have to undergo a six-day quarantine as per the COVID protocols of Abu Dhabi, but they will be ready for KKR’s opening match against Mumbai Indians (MI), which has been scheduled a bit later, on September 23.