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Knights to practise today

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Kolkata Knight Riders have been given permission to begin training in Abu Dhabi from Friday after eight days of quarantine in the emirate.

Mumbai Indians, who completed their mandatory six-day quarantine on Thursday as per the IPL’s Standard Operating Procedures, can also start practice.

The Abu Dhabi government allowed the relaxations after discussions with the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), which included its chairman Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan. The rules permit a 14-day quarantine period for any visitor in Abu Dhabi.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, IPL governing council chairman Brijesh Patel and chief operating officer Hemang Amin, who are in Dubai, held a series of meetings with the ECB to resolve the impasse.

KKR and Mumbai Indians are the only franchises who have set up base in Abu Dhabi. KKR landed in Abu Dhabi on August 20 but haven’t been able to start training. Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab also reached Dubai on the same day and have already started practising.

Kings XI Punjab are not banking on Australia and England players for the first few matches. They are expected to arrive on September 17 and will have to serve their six-day quarantine period.

According to KXIP chief executive Satish Menon, they haven’t been told by the BCCI that those players’ quarantine period would be exempt since they will be travelling from one bio-bubble to another.

KXIP’s Glenn Maxwell is part of the Australia team that is touring England.

“It’s unlikely that they will not be serving the six-day period. We still have no information from the BCCI on whether the quarantine rules will be reduced or not. Rest is all hearsay.

“BCCI has told us that they will revert. Until they tell us we cannot assume anything. If the six-day quarantine is in force then they won’t be able to play the first two-three matches,” Menon told The Telegraph.

It was only the other day that a top RCB official had said that players would be exempt from the quarantine period.

He said that KXIP will not incur a huge loss since the IPL has moved out of the country along with a reduction in their share of title sponsorship money.

“It’s not as if we will undergo a huge loss or anything. The profits will be reduced but it doesn’t mean we will get into a loss situation. There will be loss of gate money to the tune of Rs 12-14 crores and to the extent that title sponsorship money which used to be Rs 28 crore will now be Rs 14 crore. You can control your costs by few definite measures. In India profits would obviously have been much more,” he said.


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