Star recruits Eoin Morgan and Pat Cummins will be available for Kolkata Knight Riders’ IPL opener on September 23 after authorities in Abu Dhabi have agreed to shorten the quarantine period from 14 to six days, according to franchise CEO Venky Mysore.
Mysore said negotiations were still on with the Abu Dhabi authorities to further shorten the quarantine period.
“While they are still negotiating with the authorities, we are reconciled to the fact that we may have to quarantine our three players,” Mysore was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“They arrive on September 17, but our first game is on September 23, by which time they would’ve finished their (six-day) quarantine. So it’s worked out well, and it’s good for the tournament.”
There are three players — Morgan, his England teammate Tom Banton and Australian pacer Cummins — who will be joining KKR’s squad in the UAE capital a day after the third and final ODI on September 16 in Manchester. They are arriving on a chartered flight.
Abu Dhabi has strict rules around people entering the emirate from outside — at present a 14-day quarantine is mandatory. But the report said a concession has been made in allowing players to train after six days as long as they remain inside the team bubble.
Dubai has no mandatory quarantine period unless the person tests positive. So, those players travelling to Dubai will be available to their teams from day one of arrival.
This was also possible since these players have come from another bio-bubble (in Manchester), the report said.
KKR and Mumbai Indians are the only two teams based in Abu Dhabi, and MI has no players coming in from the ongoing England-Australia ODI series. The six other teams are based in Dubai.
Earlier, Royal Challengers Bangalore chairman Sanjeev Churiwala too had confirmed players coming from the UK wouldn’t have to quarantine under IPL rules.
“What we did was put a plan together and shared it with the medical team at the IPL.
“We told them, ‘they’re in a bio-secure bubble in UK. What if we brought them on a sanitised charter flight and we took care of all the elements of immigration, testing, contactless stuff and everything to allow them to come right into a bubble here?’
“To give credit to IPL, they took it very constructively and they have a written Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for that, which says if you’re coming from a bubble to another bubble, you don’t need the mandatory quarantine period,” said Mysore.
Mysore is also aiming for the same regarding their IPL-bound CPL players from Trinidad & Tobago.
The CPL ended on Thursday, and the players are going to fly out to the UAE on Saturday. KKR have Andre Russell, Sunil Narine and Chris Green joining them from Trinidad.