File image from a CSK training session, with Suresh Raina batting and captain MS Dhoni waiting for his turn (T…Read More
CHENNAI: The Indian players who will take part in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from September 19 are desperately short of practice, and the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) management pulled off a major breakthrough when they managed to get a permission from the Tamil Nadu state government to host a camp in the city from August 15.
The likes of MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla and a few others will fly into the city via chartered flights on August 14 and will hit the nets a day later at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. They are scheduled to leave for Dubai on August 21.
Other than Mumbai Indians, who have already brought most of their players to Mumbai, none of the other franchises have been able to organise camps in India before they leave for the UAE.
“The players will not have to undergo a two-week quarantine period once they are in Chennai. They will be tested two days prior to coming to Chennai and provided they are Covid-negative, they will be flown in,” sources close to the development told TOI.
The players will go straight into the team hotel and they will not be allowed to go anywhere, other than to the ground, during their six-day stay in Chennai prior to their departure for Dubai.
“During their stay in the city, the players will be tested twice and they will be flying to Dubai only if they are found Covid-negative,” the source added.
It was primarily Dhoni’s idea to have a camp in Chennai for the Indian players who have been woefully short of practice. One understands that the CSK management had been trying very hard for the last one week to get the necessary permissions.
“The franchise has promised that all the protocols will be maintained and the decision-makers understood how important it is for the players to get some practice so that they can be competitive. The fact that practice for other sports has also started worked in CSK’s favour,” the source added.
With none of the foreign recruits and the support-staff allowed in the city, CSK’s bowling consultant L Balaji will be in charge of the camp.
Before lockdown, when the CSK team had started practice at Chepauk, there used to be a huge crowd.
“Of course, no one will be allowed this time and we are hoping the fans, too, will understand the gravity of the situation and ensure that there is no gathering outside the stadium or team hotel,” the source added.