Defending IPL champions Chennai Super Kings are looking at holding a camp for their players somewhere in August to get their preparations underway in a timely fashion ahead of the thirteenth season of the premier T20 tournament which commences at the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from September 19.
According to a report in ESPNCricinfo, CSK players have been asked to report to Chennai on August 9 and will fly down to Dubai on the very next day, although the final dates for holding the camp are subject to the green signal from the Indian government. With non availability of commercial flights amid the guidelines imposed the Centre, the franchisee plans to arrange chartered flights for the players.
Earlier last week, IPL Governing Council chairman Brijesh Patel confirmed that the 13th edition of the high profile T20 league will be played out in the UAE from September 19 to November 10. The IPL governing council met on Sunday to put in shape the various modalities of hosting the tournament in UAE, right from travel and lodging to quarantine SOPs.
One major issue which will serve as a matter of concern for the franchises themselves will be that the majority of their players on their IPL rosters have not played any cricket in recent months due to the lockdown guidelines imposed by the Centre in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some franchises have reportedly asked for permission to land on August 20 and 21. For CSK, who have the oldest squad in the league on average, the challenge is all the more significant. MS Dhoni, their captain, for example, hasn’t played a competitive fixture since the 2019 World Cup.
Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, IPL 2020 will be a truncated affair comprising 60 matches. The IPL was originally scheduled to start from March 29 onward, but was indefinitely postponed by the BCCI due to the owing to the pandemic. Later, with Asia Cup and ICC T20 World Cup getting cancelled, BCCI made most of the window to announce the dates of IPL.