The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have a fond memory of playing IPL matches in UAE back in 2014. That was the year when they last won the Indian Premier League trophy, which was their second win overall.
This time around, the whole tournament will be played across three bio-secure venues in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah and the IPL 2020 begin from September 19 onwards with CSK taking on MI in the tournament opener.
KKR, on the other hand, faced a quandary when they landed in the UAE, as they came to know that quarantine rules were different for teams that set up base in Abu Dhabi, from those who chose Dubai as their base.
“The first impression we got when IPL was shifted to UAE was that there will be no quarantine there. But it was not so. While Dubai doesn’t have any quarantine rule, we found there was a mandatory 14-day quarantine in Abu Dhabi where we set up our base,” KKR CEO Venky Mysore said during a webinar on Monday.
“But fortunately we were able to talk to the health ministry there and impress upon them that the BCCI prepared bio-bubble followed by us is good enough preventive measure. We were finally allowed to practice after six days,” he stated.
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The KKR team will be led by Dinesh Karthik, but this time he will have support from England’s 2019 World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan as well.
CEO Mysore revealed how the players kept themselves busy during the 6-day quarantine period, saying that it is not easy to stay alone for six-days cooped up in a hotel room.
“We organized some quiz and Antakshari (singing) event on an online platform during the quarantine period. We have questions on SRK (team owner Shah Rukh Khan) and Bollywood too and I must say most of the players were quite aware of the issues,” Venky said.
The antakshari turned out to be a hilarious affair and Mysore said, “I am glad that their (players) main profession was playing cricket and not singing. The most daring and adventurous singer was Rinku Singh. He was not only singing but even got into action standing up on his bed with no inhabitations.”
He added that youngster Shubman Gill is a good singer and said, “See in spite of them having all their favorite TV channels, Netflix and all, being indoors always was tough. So this laughter was needed to keep them relaxed.”
(Times of India inputs)