The Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises received a shot in the arm as the England and Australia cricketers arriving to the United Arab Emirates from the United Kingdom will now have to undergo a 36-hour quarantine instead of the previously mandated six days.
21 players from England and Australia touched base in Dubai on a chartered jet on Thursday night.
Officials from some of the franchises, stationed in Dubai, confirmed the development to Sportstar, but the teams based in Abu Dhabi are unlikely to be exempted from a week-long quarantine period.
With the Australia-England series getting over on Wednesday, there were doubts over the availability of players from both countries for the initial matches of the tournament because of the six-day quarantine.
However, the franchises have successfully negotiated with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to reduce the quarantine period as the players were flown into the Emirates on a chartered flight from Manchester.
The cricketers will undergo RT-PCR test for COVID-19 on their arrival. “Before flying out from Manchester, the players were tested and once they land, they need to be tested again. Since the players are travelling from one bubble to another, it should not be a problem,” a franchise official said.
While Chennai Super Kings’ can look at fielding Josh Hazlewood and Tom Curran in the tournament opener against Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals will also benefit as captain Steve Smith, Jofra Archer and Jos Buttler will be available from the first game.