Amidst multiple members of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) testing positive and Suresh Raina flying back to India for “personal reasons”, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Mumbai Indians (MI) had their first IPL training sessions in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Matthew Boucher, Abu Dhabi Cricket CEO, told The New Indian Express that all players and support staff of the two teams tested negative in the third round of COVID-19 tests. KKR and MI are the only two teams that have set up their bases in Abu Dhabi. The other six franchises have their bases in Dubai.
Asked about stricter protocols in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Boucher said:
“They [restrictions] have been in place for many months now. Any resident coming from Dubai to Abu Dhabi has to undergo the same procedure [undergoing a PCR test]. You have to show a negative PCR report to enter the Emirates of Abu Dhabi.”
KKR and MI were left in limbo after a sudden change in rules mandated a 14-day quarantine period in Abu Dhabi, while the Dubai-based franchises had to be in self-isolation for only six days. However, the issue was resolved after BCCI officials got in touch with local authorities.
Boucher further added:
“It [journey] is absolutely seamless because of the coordination between the Dubai and Abu Dhabi police. We will have a VIP lane at the border and ensure a smooth PCR testing process.”
IPL 2020: Everyone in KKR and MI tested negative for COVID-19
KKR and RR were among the first IPL teams to touch down in the United Arab Emirates on August 20 while MI arrived the next day. As per protocols laid down by the stakeholders, everyone was tested upon landing before the mandatory six-day self-isolation period. All players and support had to undergo tests on days 1, 3 and 5.
Boucher confirmed that negative results were received on day seven following which they applied for approval to the government and the National Crisis & Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA). Players hit the nets on Friday after permission was granted.Published 29 Aug 2020, 13:00 IST