IPL 2020: England and Australia players might not miss the first week of the tournament

IPL 2020: England and Australia players might not miss the first week of the tournament

A total of 20 players from England and Australia are expected to reach UAE on September 17.

Eoin Morgan and Aaron Finch
Eoin Morgan and Aaron Finch. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

The limited-overs bilateral series, to be played next month, between England and Australia, had put certain Indian Premier League (IPL) teams in trouble. The T20I and ODI series is set to end on September 16 only three days before the scheduled start of the T20 extravaganza. Due to the strict protocols set by the BCCI, the IPL-bound players of both the teams were set to miss the first week of the tournament.

But if the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) chairman Sanjay Churiwala is to be believed, that won’t be the case. He has stated that the players will reach the UAE on September 17 and will have to undergo ‘stringent’ testing process soon after landing in the country. Earlier, the IPL organisers had indicated that they are unlikely to relax the seven-day quarantine period for any of the players after arriving in the UAE.

All the cricketers are expected to undergo COVID-19 tests three times during their quarantine period. Sanjay, while speaking to ESPNCricinfo, cleared that there is still a possibility that all the England and Australia players arriving late in the UAE might get to play all IPL matches. If the players continue to be in a bio-bubble environment and they don’t come in contact with general public, then they can play the matches soon after landing in the UAE.

“For the players landing after the England and Australia series, on September 17, that is very close to our matches. The BCCI have also issued very detailed SOPs and procedures to be followed by these players in terms of their participation. What the SOPs say very clearly [is] that they can participate without quarantine, provided they satisfy certain very stringent conditions. And they’re very, very stringent.

“Very clearly after the players have played the [international] series, they have to continue to be in the biosecure bubble. Right from the biosecure bubble, they have to go straight to the charter flight without getting into the extensive migration procedures, and without getting in touch with the general public.

“All these players will be travelling by exclusive charter flights. They will undergo tests before arrival and if everything is [fine], they’ll be fit to play the game. If not, of course, they will have to quarantine and have to undergo three rounds of tests before participating. Given that they [the group from the England-Australia series] are already serving a bio-bubble requirement, it will be an extended bio-bubble for them as and when they land.

“Under no circumstances are BCCI or franchise owners saying we will compromise on the procedures. I am very clear,” Churiwala said.

A total of 29 players from England and Australia to play in IPL 2020

A staggering 29 players from England and Australia are set to feature in the IPL 2020. Moreover, 20 of them will be playing in the ODI and T20I series while rest of them are likely to reach UAE just in time for the tournament. The Rajasthan Royals (RR) will be the most affected if the cricketers from the two countries miss the first week of the tournament.

Apart from their skipper Steve Smith, the likes of Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Andrew Tye and Tom Curran will miss out. The Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) too will miss their openers Jonny Bairstow and David Warner along with Mitchell Marsh. Other team to be affected the most is the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) who have Pat Cummins, Eoin Morgan and Tom Banton in their squad.

It will be interesting to see if these 20 players will be allowed to play soon after reaching the UAE only after testing negative for COVID-19.