Wearing masks and face shields, Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad's Indian players and support staff arrived Sunday in hot and dry Dubai for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL).
Moved out of India due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 13th edition of the world's biggest T20 league will be played across the three venues of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah in the UAE from 19 September to 10 November.
The Hyderabad-based franchise landed in the city first, and was soon followed by the team from the Indian capital, which flew into the UAE via Mumbai.
The players will be undergoing a mandatory six-day quarantine which is in line with the Standard Operating Procedure issued by the BCCI.
RT-PCR tests will be performed on everyone on Day 1, 3 and 6 of the quarantine, after which all the players who return negative for all the three tests will be entering the tournament bio-bubble.
Delhi Capitals chief executive officer Dhiraj Malhotra and assistant coach Mohammad Kaif shared their thoughts, having met their players after a long time.
"We are all really excited that cricket is back, and that the team is together again. It is like meeting your own family, meeting your long lost friends. So it is just a really overwhelming phase for all of us," Malhotra was quoted as saying in a press release.
Kaif added, "We will be undergoing three more tests, and hopefully everyone's reports will come out negative, and then we can get back on to the field to start practicing."
Both the franchises shared a number of their players' departure and arrival photos.
Posting a touchdown tweet, Sunrisers' Shreevats Goswami wrote, "Just landed in Dubai and been welcomed by heat wave!"
Just landed in Dubai and been welcomed by heat wave ! 🙄 #IPLinUAE
— Shreevats goswami (@shreevats1) August 23, 2020
The players will not be allowed to venture out of their rooms during the six-day isolation period.
All the Indian players from the star-studded Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians landed in the UAE on Friday for the world's biggest T20 league.
The players were already tested multiple times before departure.
The players and support staff will be tested every fifth day of the tournament.
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Stokes posted a photograph showing him holding a bat with his bandaged finger and the words: "12th April broken finger. 11th October first time since breaking being able to get it round my handle."
The Goenka-owned RPSG Group became the highest bidder, while CVC Capital pipped Adani Group to win the bid for Ahmedabad with Rs 5,600 crore offer.
Sunrisers Hyderabad removed Warner from the captaincy in the first leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year and when the league resumed in the UAE he was left out of playing XI after ordinary outings in the first two matches.