The Indian Premier League's eight teams will touchdown in the UAE over the next few days, with the Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab being the first to land on Thursday, August 20.
The long-awaited Indian Premier League 2020 starts in a month but the fervour in the UAE among cricket fans has already started.
The various franchises will make either Abu Dhabi or Dubai their base and will all land in the country over the coming long weekend.
The first to arrive today, the Rajasthan Royals, who are the champions of the inaugural season of IPL in 2008 will be based out of Dubai. So will the Kings XI Punjab who also land today.
The Royals tweeted about completing their medicals upon arrival in Mumbai en route to Dubai.
Defending champions and four-time winners Mumbai Indians will arrive in the Emirates on Friday, August 21 and will make Abu Dhabi their home base.
The Chennai Super Kings, with the legend and highly popular MS Dhoni as their captain, also land on Friday and will be based out of Dubai.
This will be the former Indian captain Dhoni’s first outing after he announced his retirement from international cricket on August 15.
Current Indian captain Virat Kohli who leads the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will land on Friday as well with his team and will make Dubai his home base too.
"Locked and loaded to take the UAE by storm!" RCB tweeted.
Dubai will be the base for the Kolkata Knight Riders, who have won the championship two times. The team has arrived in Mumbai and will land on Saturday in the UAE capital.
"IPL 2020 to begin on September 19 in UAE," tweeted the Mumbai Indians.
The last two teams to touch down in the UAE will be the Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Delhi Capitals who arrive on Sunday. Both the 2016 IPL winner Sunrisers, as well as the Delhi Capitals will be making Dubai their home base.
"UAE see you soon," tweeted the Sunrisers.
"IPL is back," tweeted Delhi Capitals.
Before the teams hit the ground, every member of each squad, including players, support staff and team management will have to follow protocol:
- Produce a negative COVID-19 PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test report issued no more than 96 hours before arrival in the UAE.
- Undergo mandatory one-week quarantine at their hotels or apartments.
- Undertake a mandatory COVID-19 test at the port of entry in the UAE, followed by tests on day three and six of their quarantine period.
- Go into the bio-secure bubble and will begin training once all the three tests are found to be negative.
- Undergo follow up tests every fifth day and additional tests done when travelling from one city to another.
The teams will be inside a bio-secure bubble over the course of the 53-day tournament, operating under the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) mapped out by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the UAE authorities.