The third wave of South Africans set to take part in the Indian Premier League (IPL) have touched down in Dubai ahead of the 19 September start of the richest T20 League in the world.
Faf du Plessis and Lungi Ngidi will link up with their Chennai Super Kings teammates after completing their screening and quarantine protocols.
Kagiso Rabada arrives to join the Delhi Capitals squad a few days after fellow Proteas seamer Anrich Nortje. Nortje has already started training with the Capitals after a few days holed up in a hotel room.
Players arriving in the UAE, except for those travelling from another cricketing bio-bubble, undergo a six-day isolation period with testing on days one, three and six. If players clear all the tests, they will be eligible to enter the IPL’s bio-bubble and start training.
Most of the IPL franchises have begun training with light evening sessions beginning from last week.
The Super Kings have been unable to train after their camp was hit by an outbreak of the virus. The team have also been hit by the withdrawal of Suresh Raina.
IPL training underway
The Indian contingents of the IPL franchises have been in camp together for some time with the international players arriving in dribs and drabs.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore welcomed their three South African players last week with AB de Villiers, Chris Morris and Dale Steyn jetting into the UAE together.
The 13th edition of the IPL will be played across the three venues of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah in the UAE from 19 September to 10 November.
Delhi Capitals CEO Dhiraj Malhotra said he believes the upcoming edition of the IPL will be a significant one.
“It’s never an easy decision to have to host an Indian Premier League (IPL) outside India. However, given the current circumstances, I believe this is going to be a very significant edition of the tournament, not just for the league, but the sport of cricket itself. The UAE has played host to some IPL matches earlier, and I’m sure that experience will come in handy, even though the challenges will be very different this time around. I’m confident all measures will be taken for 100% safe conduct of the tournament.” he said.
The UAE hosted the initial rounds of the 2014 IPL when elections were being held in India while in 2009 the entire tournament was staged in South Africa.