The 21 players travelling from the England-Australia limited-overs series into IPL will need to isolate themselves for a varying period ranging between one and six days once they land in the UAE on Thursday evening.
For the group travelling to Dubai, comprising 18 players from six teams, the quarantine period would be one day while the remaining three – Pat Cummins, Eoin Morgan and Tom Banton – who all are part of Kolkata Knight Riders, will need to the undergo six-day quarantine before they are available for selection.
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The development means all the players are likely to be available for their franchises’ first match as the tournament gets underway on Saturday. This also means the pair of Josh Hazlewood and Sam Curran would be available for selection for Chennai Super Kings, who will play the tournament opener against defending champions Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi, subject to them clearing the one mandatory test on Friday.
ESPNcricinfo understands that the IPL has prepared set of exclusive standard operating procedures for the group which makes it mandatory that the players are dressed in a Personal protective equipment (PPE) kit once they disembark in the UAE late on Thursday. The group of players that will be based in Dubai would need to head to their room in the team hotel and get tested in their room on Friday. If the result comes out negative, the player can then start training.
As for the three Knight Riders players, it is understood they would need to be in their rooms for the first six days and once they clear the required testing process, they can join rest of the squad on the seventh day. Cummins, Morgan and Banton would be available for selection for the Knight Riders’ first match, which is on September 23 against Mumbai in Abu Dhabi, where both teams are based.
All the 21 players were part of the limited-overs series between England and Australia, which concluded on Wednesday in Manchester. This group is scheduled to land in the UAE on Thursday night after the respective franchises they are part of had arranged for a charter flight from Manchester.
Considering they players would be commuting between the biosecure bubble in England to that in the UAE, franchises had asked the IPL to relax the quarantine norms in order for players to be available for selection and training immediately.
However the IPL was constrained by the protocol imposed by the local government authorities which is different for the two emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. While there is no mandatory quarantine period for anyone flying into Dubai (barring if a person tests positive), Abu Dhabi government has imposed 14-day quarantine for anyone entering the Emirate from outside the country. A special concession has been made in the case of the IPL to bring that down to six days quarantine, keeping in mind the teams are operating within a bubble.
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