Wearing PPEs, With Families in Tow, IPL Teams Depart For UAE
Wearing PPEs and taking all precautions, IPL teams have started landing in the UAE for IPL season 13.
‘No hugging... No touching anything,’ say R Ashwin’s two young daughters in a video he posted on Instagram before leaving home to join his IPL team, Delhi Capitals, on their flight to the UAE.
According to the IPL guidelines, franchises were allowed to start arriving at their home base for this IPL in the UAE, starting 20 August, and Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab were the first teams to land.
Following all IPL guidelines for players’ safety, Rajasthan’s entire travelling party wore PPE kits while travelling while Punjab had their players in masks with some, like captain KL Rahul, also using a face shield.
According to IPL’s COVID guidelines, all players and support staff travelling to the UAE had to undergo two COVID PCR tests in the week leading up to their departure to the UAE. In case a player failed any of the tests, they would be placed in a 15-day quarantine in India and then only if they returned negative in 2 COVID PCR tests would they be allowed to travel to the UAE.
Everyone would once again be tested at the airport in the UAE following which they go into a seven-day quarantine at their team hotels, where they will again be tested three – on the first day, on the third and on the sixth day.
Only once the players test negative in all six tests would they be allowed to enter the IPL’s ‘bio-secure environment’, where they will remain for the rest of the season. No outside interactions are allowed and movement of all teams will be restricted to team hotel, training centre, stadium and the transport they use.
Joining RR, KKR and KXIP in the UAE on Friday are Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore, who have boarded their flights at the time of writing.
Chennai Super Kings are also expected to fly out later in the day. Dhoni’s CSK are, in fact, the only team that held a pre-season camp at their home base, Chennai, and have been training since Saturday, 15 August.
While many teams have elected to not travel with their families, pictures posted by Mumbai Indians’ social media handle show Rohit Sharma’s toddler Samaira ready for her flight.
Dhoni’s CSK, also called the ‘Dad’s Army’, have chosen to not allow families, which means new fathers Suresh Raina and Faf du Plessis will be away from their newborns for an almost three-month stretch leading up to the final of the IPL, on 8 November.
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