Following a plethora of setbacks encountered by Indian T20 League side Chennai not long after touching down in the UAE, the team is finally set to commence training on Friday, September 4; a week behind the other seven teams.
With 12 squad members, including two players, testing positive for the global virus during the six-day quarantine period in Dubai, Chennai were forced to delay their training until the rest of the team cleared two more virus tests. The first of those two were carried out on Monday, August 31, and the other was conducted on Thursday, September 3.
However, those 12 who tested positive are not a part of this group and continue to be under a 14-day isolation period in a separate hotel. The two players among them - an international and an uncapped - are both reportedly fit but will need to test negative twice before getting to rejoin the bubble.
Absent from Friday's training group will be South Africans Faf du Plessis and Lungi Ngidi, both currently serving the mandatory six-day quarantine period after reaching Dubai on September 1.
However, tempering that bit of good news is the fact that the team's senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who was set to join the squad before the season got underway, is now going to give the season a miss altogether.
Dear Friends— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) September 4, 2020
I will not be playing IPL this year due to personal reasons.These are difficult times and I would expect some privacy as I spend time with my family. @ChennaiIPL CSK management has been extremely supportive and I wish them a great IPL
Stay safe and Jai Hind
The 40-year-old conveyed his decision to withdraw from this year's edition of the Indian T20 League on Friday, citing personal reasons.
It is the second significant blow to Chennai's line-up after Suresh Raina left Dubai earlier to return to India, also due to personal reasons.
Indian T20 League 2020 schedule due on Friday
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has revealed that the full schedule of the Indian T20 League 2020 is finally set to be revealed later today (Friday, September 4).
"We understand schedules are delayed. It is almost on the verge of getting final and should be released by Friday," Ganguly was quoted by ABP News.
2019 Indian T20 League runners-up Chennai were reportedly pencilled in to open the series in a match against last year's champions Mumbai but the positive tests meant Chennai could have to skip the opener, despite CEO Kasi Viswanathan stating that the team would be available to play the opener, should it be required.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Arun Sankar