Mumbai Indians veteran Lasith Malinga and Royal Challengers Bangalore newcomer Isuru Udana will miss the first week of the thirteenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) due to the inaugural season of the Lankan Premier League (LPL).
The logistics of the LPL are yet to be finalised by the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) but several reports claim that no Sri Lankan player will be allowed to leave mid-way for the IPL or any other tournament until the final of the LPL is held. The tentative date for the final of the tournament is 20th September, one day after the commencement of the much-awaited 2020 season of the IPL.
In this case, Lasith Malinga and Isuru Udana will only be able to leave for the UAE after the 20th of September and will have to serve a mandatory quarantine of 72 hours after arriving in the country. All this is expected to delay their participation in the IPL by at least a week.
Malinga has been an integral part of the Mumbai Indians set-up, with 177 scalps in 122 games. Even though Mumbai Indians have a plethora of quality fast-bowlers in their squad, they prefer Malinga due to his vast experience of delivering in crunch situations.
On the other hand, Isuru Udana will ply his trade for RCB this season and is expected to play a pivotal role in the team's journey to acquire their maiden IPL title. This is Udana's first season in the IPL, and he will surely be looking to impress one and all.
Australian and English players will also miss the first few days of the IPL
Meanwhile, a handful of England and Australian cricketers will also miss the first week of the IPL due to their international commitments. Australia will be touring England for three T20Is and the same number of ODIs, with the last ODI tentatively to be played on the 16th of September.
The participating players will then fly from London to Dubai either on the same day or the next day. They will immediately be tested for COVID-19 upon their arrival in the UAE. The players will be allowed to move out from the isolation zone only if they test negative and will have to follow the SOPs set by the BCCI before joining their respective teams. This entire process is expected to take 7-10 days and will delay the participation of the players in the tournament.Published 31 Jul 2020, 20:28 IST