Chennai Super Kings team during a practice session for IPL 2019. (TOI Photo)
CHENNAI: Preparations are on in full swing at the CSK headquarters in Chennai even as players are busy packing their bags for the IPL in UAE from September 19. While TOI reported earlier that the team will set camp in Dubai, it was learnt on Thursday that CSK players will be travelling without their families.
The decision has been taken keeping in mind the IPL SOPs which mention that family members can’t get close to the players during training and matches. In fact, the SOP says that players aren’t allowed to interact with anybody outside the bio-bubble. “At least for the initial phase, the families won’t be travelling with the players,” a source close to the developments told TOI.
It was also learnt that the players and support staff will be assembling in Chennai on August 19 before flying out to Dubai in a chartered flight. “No commercial flights are being allowed to fly out so CSK have to arrange for a chartered flight,” said the source.
In Dubai, the team will put up at a five-star property near Burj Khalifa. They are likely to book two-three floors of the hotel which will have separate air-conditioning ducts from the rest of the hotel.
Some foreign stars may miss the first few games
CSK might have to do without a few of their foreign stars at the start of the IPL. The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) final is on September 12 while the ODI series between England and Australia will be till September 16. It is understood that if the teams of players like Dwayne Bravo (Trinidad Knight Riders), Mitchell Santner (Barbados Tridents) and Imran Tahir (Guyana Amazon Warriors) make the CPL final, the players concerned won’t have a long enough window to join CSK after completing their compulsory one-week quarantine after reaching Dubai.
England allrounder Sam Curran and Australia pacer Josh Hazlewood are expected to feature in the ODI series. The other foreigners – Australia’s Shane Watson and South Africa’s Faf du Plessis and Lungi Ngidi – are expected to join the team directly in Dubai and undergo a three-week preparatory camp.
Sponsors on board
It was also learnt that CSK have managed to retain all the sponsors from last season. “The terms of the deals though are yet to be chalked out,” the source said.