Team India trio Ravichandran Ashwin, Cheteshwar Pujara and Prithvi Shaw reached Dubai to take part in the UAE leg of IPL 2021. All the players were in England as part of the Test series. They were flown into Dubai after the fifth Test of the series was canceled owing to COVID-19 fears in the Indian camp.
Ashwin shared details of the players' journey to Dubai on his Instagram stories. In his first story, the off-spinner is seen wearing his mask as the flight seems set to take off.
He also shared a story of Cheteshwar Pujara busy on his phone while on the flight. Ashwin shared the clip with the caption:
“When you have a neighbour who is in a serious relationship with his phone!! @cheteshwar_pujara.”
The last story has Ashwin and Shaw at the Dubai airport. The former shared the story with the caption:
“Shooting the beauty of Dubai airport! @prithvishaw #hellodubaiahh.”
While Ashwin and Shaw represent Delhi Capitals (DC) in the IPL, Pujara is part of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) franchise. Other DC members Ajinkya Rahane, Ishant Sharma, Axar Patel and Umesh Yadav have also reached Dubai. The franchise confirmed the same through a statement on Twitter.
The BCCI has stated that all players coming to the UAE from the UK have to undergo six days of quarantine before they can join their respective team bubbles. The bubble to bubble transfer from the UK to UAE does not stand as the series in England ended abruptly after the final Test at Old Trafford in Manchester was canceled owing to COVID-19 cases in the Indian camp.
IPL performance helped Ashwin find a place in the T20 World Cup squad
The last few weeks have been rather strange for Ashwin. Seen as a Test specialist and India’s no.1 bowlers in the traditional format, the 34-year-old did not play any of the four Tests in England. He did feature in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand.
In a surprising move, he was chosen in the 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup to be held in the UAE and Oman. Ashwin last played white-ball cricket for India in 2017. Explaining his selection, chief selector Chetan Sharma credited the seasoned spinner’s IPL performances with his comeback. Sharma said at a virtual press conference:
“Ravichandran Ashwin has been playing in the IPL regularly. He has performed well there. When you go into the World Cup, you need an off-spinner, everyone has an idea that the wickets in the UAE will get slower as IPL will also be played there.”
The T20 World Cup will begin from October 17, immediately after the conclusion of the IPL.