13th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to begin in UAE from September 19 with proper safety measures. However, there seems a problem regarding South Africa players as there is a restriction on air-travel owing to the increasing number of coronavirus cases.
Several players from South Africa have been playing in IPL – be it AB de Villiers for Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kagiso Rabada for Delhi Capitals, Faf du Plessis for Chennai Super Kings or Quinton de Kock for Mumbai Indians. However, IPL teams are willing to get them all to fly into UAE on a chartered plane.
While speaking to IANS, an official of one of the franchises said that they will discuss informally on this matter and a final call will be taken after the IPL Governing Council (GC) meets on Sunday and gives the franchises a detailed plan of the 13th edition of the league.
“We are aware that the South African players are somewhat stuck and we will take a call on them after the IPL GC meeting on Sunday. Informally we have had discussions and it is not restricted to one or two franchises. Almost all the franchises have top stars coming in from South Africa and it only makes sense to have them all fly in to UAE on a chartered plane and the franchises share the expense. A final call can only be taken by the franchises after Sunday,” the official explained.
“Why would we want one plane to bring a player for one franchise and another for another franchise? At a time when travel restrictions are on and everyone is moving very cautiously, it is only practical that we have them all come in together in one plane,” the official added.
“Nobody is keen on staying in Sharjah. You have around 15 of the top international chain of hotels spread across Abu Dhabi and Dubai and that is where we are looking to stay. We were told that the BCCI was looking to send in a team before we head to UAE.,” he again told.
“Not sure how that is placed now since there are no commercial flights going and chartered planes will be the way forward. But that should be no problem because over the years if there is something that we have seen when it comes to the IPL is the way the BCCI executes the plans and ensures that the tournament is held without even a minor hiccup,” the official concluded.