CHENNAI: Even as members of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) contingent tested positive in Dubai pushing back their inaugural training session at least till the month end, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Mumbai Indians (MI) hit the nets for the first time on Friday in Abu Dhabi.
Matthew Boucher, CEO of Abu Dhabi Cricket, confirmed to this daily that all test results of both the teams returned negative paving way for them to begin training.
There were speculations that quarantine rule in Abu Dhabi had put the two teams in a spot of bother but the official said there were no surprises and everybody including the BCCI was aware of the protocols.
“The border (between Abu Dhabi and Dubai) has been in place for nearly four months. Thousands of people are using the border every day to travel to Abu Dhabi from Dubai and vice versa. So the testing of the players and staff simply has to fall in line with the protocols,” he informed. The official also assured a seamless journey for the teams by ensuring a VIP lane at the border for them.
“It (journey) is absolutely seamless because of the coordination between the Dubai and Abu Dhabi police. We will have a VIP lane at the border and ensure a smooth PCR testing process,” Boucher said.
Speaking on stricter protocols in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, the official added: “They (restrictions) have been in place for many months now. Any resident coming from Dubai to Abu Dhabi has to undergo the same procedure (taking a PCR test). You have to show a negative PCR report to enter the Emirates of Abu Dhabi.”
KKR reached the venue on August 20 while Mumbai arrived there the next day. Elaborating on the testing procedure, Boucher said: “The process was that the teams had a test in India before they departed. They had one on day one on arrival in Abu Dhabi. Then they had tests on the third and sixth day. We received negative results on day seven and applied for approval to the government and NCEMA (National Crisis & Emergency Management Authority). Today (Friday) we received the permission and training started.”
Boucher also asserted that the process is simple and it will create no problem when teams travel to Abu Dhabi for the tournament. “Everything has to fall in line including the testing,” he said.