Chennai Super Kings are set to start training for IPL 2020 from September 4. This date is subject to the squad clearing two additional Covid-19 tests, made mandatory by the IPL after 13 members of their contingent - including two Indian players - tested positive last week. Those who had tested positive last week are put up in a separate hotel and are not going to be part of these fresh tests, but all other members of their camp tested negative in the first of the two additional tests, conducted on Monday. The second test is on September 3.
Those 13 personnel who had tested positive will undergo two fresh tests only after their mandatory two-week quarantine.
Super Kings are the only team yet to start training after being forced to extend their quarantine period. They landed in Dubai on August 21 and were initially expected to start training by August 28.
"We will start [training] by September 4. We have another test on September 3," Kasi Viswanathan, the Super Kings CEO, told ESPNcricinfo. Viswanathan said since Super Kings were the only team to have positive test results since reaching the UAE, the IPL had "increased" the number of tests to five, which is two more than the number carried out by the other seven franchises.
As per the IPL's Covid-19 testing protocols, all participants in the tournament have to carry out three tests upon landing in the UAE: on days one (landing), three and six. If all three tests come back negative, the teams can start training.
Viswanathan also said that the two players who tested positive last week are expected to start training once they have cleared the mandatory testing process laid out by the IPL. He said that Super Kings would be ready to play the tournament opener on September 19, if required.
Harbhajan to join in first week of September
Harbhajan Singh, who missed the preparatory camp in Chennai last month due to personal reasons, is expected to arrive in Dubai in "first week of September", Viswanathan said. He was scheduled to join Super Kings' camp on Tuesday, but is understood to still be with his family in India.
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo