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IPL 2021: Virat Kohli and Mohammed Siraj to fly from Manchester to Dubai on Sunday morning as RCB arranges charter

Following the cancellation of the fifth Test between India and England, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) is arranging a charter flight to get Virat Kohli and Mohammed Siraj into Dubai on Sunday morning, ahead of the resumption of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. They will undergo a 6-day quarantine period before joining the team bubble.

Speaking to ANI, sources within the RCB franchise confirmed that Virat and Siraj will be flying out from Manchester in a charter flight on Saturday night and reach Dubai early on Sunday morning.

“Yes, we have arranged a charter flight for Virat and Siraj, both of them will be flying out at 11:30 PM UK time on Saturday and they will reach Dubai early Sunday morning. Safe transit of players is the utmost priority for RCB. They will undergo 6-day quarantine there before joining the team bubble,” the source said.

Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians stars including skipper Rohit Sharma are leaving for Dubai on Saturday while Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Punjab Kings have also made individual travel arrangements with BCCI’s plans for a charter flight on September 15 after cancellation of the fifth Test in Manchester. For MI, the other players who would be leaving for Dubai with their respective families are Jasprit Bumrah and Suryakumar Yadav.

Ravindra Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shardul Thakur, Moeen Ali and Sam Curran are part of the CSK squad which has already started training ahead of the IPL resuming September 19.

Captain K L Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Mohammad Shami and Dawid Malan are the Punjab players who are in Manchester.

Earlier on Friday, the 5th Test match between England and India was cancelled in Manchester. The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the Test match, however, the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the game.

The 14th season of the IPL, which was postponed in May this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, will resume on September 19 in Dubai with a blockbuster clash between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians.

The action will then shift to Abu Dhabi where Kolkata Knight Riders will square off against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Sharjah will host its first game on September 24 when Royal Challengers Bangalore take on Chennai Super Kings.

In all, 13 matches will be held in Dubai, 10 in Sharjah, and 8 in Abu Dhabi. The BCCI has decided to do away with contact tracing devices for the UAE leg, starting on September 19.

The Indian board decided that Bubble Integrity Officers will do the necessary contact tracing if any player tests positive for COVID-19 in UAE. The board has come up with a 46-page health advisory that lays down all the pointers that everyone associated with the IPL needs to follow in order to ensure the smooth functioning of the league.

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