IPL 2021: Franchises in talks with charter companies to fly players from UK to UAE

New Delhi: With the final Test between India and England in Manchester cancelled, Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises are already in touch with charter companies to fly out their players from Manchester to UAE for the resumption of the cash-rich league.

Speaking to ANI, sources in the know of developments said that most of the players should be in UAE from Saturday night as talks have started between the teams and charter companies.

“You need certain approvals and that takes time. The processes have already been started and you could expect the players to start flying from Saturday evening. Most of the players and their families should be reach by Sunday, unless there is any fresh positive test result. In such a scenario, things will obviously change and UK rules will come in,” an official of a franchise said.

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Echoing the sentiments, another official said getting players into UAE at the earliest is what the franchises are looking at. “With the Test match cancelled, there is no point waiting for the players to fly around September 15 as per the initial plan. It is better to have them come in at the earliest. We have started speaking to the charter companies and should be able to get the necessary permissions by tomorrow afternoon and then fly the players in,” the official said.

The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the Test match in Manchester, however, the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the game.

The 14th season, which was postponed in May this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, will resume on September 19 in Dubai with a blockbuster clash between Chennai Super Kings and defending champions Mumbai Indians.

The action will then shift to Abu Dhabi where Kolkata Knight Riders will square off against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Sharjah will host its first game on September 24 when Royal Challengers Bangalore take on Chennai Super Kings. In all, 13 matches will be held in Dubai, 10 in Sharjah, and 8 in Abu Dhabi.

The board has come up with a 46-page health advisory that lays down all the pointers that everyone associated with the IPL needs to follow in order to ensure the smooth functioning of the league. 

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