The Indian Premier League’s most talked about franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will not have some its star players joining them as they start their preparatory camp on Saturday. Along with Ravindra Jadeja, now it has come to the fore that even Harbhajan Singh and Shardul Thakur has decided to skip the camp for personal reasons. But the trio will join the team on time for their chartered flight to Dubai on 21st August.
Meanwhile the good news coming from CSK corner is that their team leader and most revered player Mahendra Singh Dhoni is reaching Chennai today. Dhoni who underwent Covid19 test in Ranchi and tested negative will reach the team headquarters by Friday evening and will be seen in action on Saturday.
IPL 2020 : Dhoni reaching Chennai on Friday to lead Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2020
Dhoni, the three-time IPL winning captain, needed to undergo the test to fulfil the SOP set by IPL Governing Council. Dhoni has not been in the thick of things in the game, having last played in the World Cup semi-final on July 9 last year. He had a brief practice in Chennai in March before the pandemic brought things to a halt and since than he has been spending time at his farmhouse in Ranchi even before the lockdown in India began in March.
As per the protocols issued by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), 2 negative tests are mandatory for each player before the franchises reach UAE. Anybody who tests positive will have to be quarantined for 14 days and will have to undergo two tests post that. Only if both the tests are negative, the individuals will be allowed to leave for the UAE.
After clearing the mandatory tests Dhoni will now train with the Chennai team from August 15 to 20. Bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji is likely to be the only member of the coaching staff present at the camp. The other members of the staff, including head coach Stephen Fleming and assistant coach Michael Hussey are likely to join the squad in Dubai on August 22.
CSK chief executive officer Kasi Viswanathan meanwhile, confirmed that they were hopeful that Lungi Ngidi and Faf du Plessis, both from South Africa, would reach the UAE after September 1. South Africa has currently sealed its borders to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 infection.
The only other South African player in the CSK franchise, Imran Tahir, will join the squad directly after taking part in the Caribbean Premier League that is scheduled to be played between August 18 and September 10 in Trinidad and Tobago.
PL 2020 – All you want to know about Chennai Super Kings preparations and travel plans
As reported earlier by InsideSport, Kasi Viswanathan, team CEO of CSK has already declared that team will leave for UAE on August 21. Dubai will be the base camp for the three-time IPL champions.
“The team will start practicing at Chepauk mostly by August 16. Dhoni and Raina, along with other team members, would arrive by August 14-15, and we would leave for UAE around August 21,” he said.
The CSK CEO also confirmed that the team is planning to take 8-10 net bowlers along with them. The State seamers include M. Mohammed, J. Kousik and Abhishek Tanwar, who were part of the Ranji side last season will be part of the CSK entourage.
The 13th edition of the IPL will be played for 53 days, from September 19 to November 10, across three venues — Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Dubai. The final match is scheduled to be played on a weekday, i.e. Tuesday, for the first time in the history of the T20 tournament.
On Monday, IPL chairman Brijesh Patel had confirmed that the board has got government approval to go ahead with the IPL in the UAE.