BENGALURU: Indian players representing Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL will reach Bengaluru in a few days before they travel to the UAE. The team will be flying out on August 21 or 22 or around that time, according to RCB chairman Sanjeev Churiwala.
“The players would start assembling in a few days and after reaching Bengaluru, they will follow the protocol as decided by the BCCI's standard operating procedures (SOP). They will be staying in a select hotel before leaving the country. Tests will be done as per the SOP. All Indian players and the support staff will be flying out in a chartered plane,” Churiwala told this newspaper.
The IPL, scheduled from September 19 to November 10, is going to be different from other seasons due to the pandemic. Teams will follow strict protocols and regular tests will be conducted. Also, players and their families will be restricted within the bio-bubble.
Once in it, they cannot move out. “Very selective players (of RCB) will be taking their families along with them. Families will also be subjected to the guidelines of the bio-bubble,” added Churiwala.
With Vivo having pulled out of the tournament as title sponsor for this edition, the BCCI is still looking for a new sponsor and this could hurt the franchises. With Vivo on board and paying Rs 440 crore per season, the eight franchises got around Rs 25 crore each from title sponsorship money.
With the economic climate not in great shape, revenues could see a dip since potential sponsors are not expected to match Vivo's amount. Also, if the IPL is played behind closed doors, there would be no gate money for the franchises.
“It could be (fewer revenues for teams compared to last time), but we will want to have discussions with the BCCI to understand what they are thinking and planning before we have a complete understanding of this,” said Churiwala.
He added, “I think there is demand (for title sponsor) and I'm sure there would be other brands, who would want to be associated with the IPL.”