After months of wait and uncertainty, IPL players have started training for the tournament.
Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals players ventured out to the ICC Academy in Dubai and trained on Wednesday evening for what was their first team session with the bat and ball since arriving in the country. They were allowed to practice after clearing their mandatory week in quarantine and Covid-19 test.
The remaining six franchises are expected to begin training in the next few days as they complete their time in isolation and pass the medical test.
Medical teams from VPS Healthcare are set to conduct more than 20,000 PCR swab tests of cricketers and support staff. Groups of four senior UAE nurses have been assigned to each franchise in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi for coronavirus testing. Facilities for testing have been set up in hotels.
The tournament – moved to the UAE due to the coronavirus crisis in India – is scheduled to be held in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi from September 19 to November 10. However, the fixtures for the tournament are yet to be announced.
IPL organisers will have to factor in the new rules regarding entry into Abu Dhabi. Now, drivers and passengers can only pass through the border from Dubai into the capital city if they can provide proof of a recent PCR negative test.
Meanwhile, the tournament received some positive news in the form a new title sponsor. Dream11 won the won the title rights for IPL 2020 with a bid of $30 million (Dh110m). It is less than half what previous sponsor – Chinese mobile phone company Vivo – paid for their five-year deal which they suspended for this year.