Chennai Super Kings will finally start training on Friday, two full weeks after they arrived in the UAE on August 21. All personnel who tested negative for Covid-19 last week in the wake of the positive cases in the camp have cleared two additional tests since.
This does not include the 13 members who tested positive last week. All of them are in the midst of their 14-day isolation and are currently in another hotel. That group includes two Indian players, an international and uncapped, both of whom are understood to be fit, but will need to return two negative tests before rejoining the bubble.
"All those who had tested negative, including support staff, previously have tested negative again. We [CSK] will start practice today [Friday]," Super Kings' CEO Kasi Viswanathan told ESPNcricinfo.
Friday's training group will also not include the South African pairing of Faf du Plessis and Lungi Ngidi, who landed in Dubai on September 1 and are in the middle of the mandatory six-day quarantine.
No word on Raina's return
Viswanthan also said the franchise had not discussed anything further on Suresh Raina's desired return to the Super Kings squad. Late last month, Raina abruptly returned to India citing difficulties in coping with the biosecure bubble. In a number of media interviews since, Raina has expressed keenness to return to UAE.
The Super Kings were the first franchise to begin on-field preparations for the upcoming season, when they held a five-day camp in Chennai before flying out to the UAE. They had expected to begin training on August 28, but extended their quarantine to aim for a September 1 training date before it emerged that 13 team personnel - including two players - had tested positive for Covid-19.