DUBAI: The 21 Australian and English players, who are members of different IPL franchises, arrived here on Thursday from the United Kingdom ahead of the opening match of the world's richest T20 tournament on Saturday.
The players, including the likes of Steve Smith, David Warner, Jofra Archer and Jos Buttler, landed here late evening (UAE time) in a chartered flight from the UK after featuring in a white ball series which ended on Wednesday.
Warner and some other players were seen wearing Personal Protection Kits (PPEs) in view of the COVID-19 pandemic which has forced the BCCI to shift the league out of India this year.
All of them will undergo RT-PCR test for COVID-19 in Dubai and the three Kolkata Knight Riders players -- Eoin Morgan, Tom Banton and Pat Cummins -- will then proceed for Abu Dhabi, where their team is based.
Only KKR and and defending champions Mumbai Indians are based in Abu Dhabi while the remaining six franchises are in Dubai.
The Indian Premier League franchises will be heaving a sigh of relief as all the 21 Australian and English players arriving to the UAE from the United Kingdom will have to undergo just 36 hours of quarantine instead of the earlier prescribed six days.
All the franchises which have English and Australian players arriving after the white ball series in the UK had appealed for reducing the quarantine period and the BCCI under Sourav Ganguly's leadership has been able to successfully sort the issue out with local authorities in the UAE.
"Yes, I can confirm that all the English and Australian players have to now undergo 36-hour quarantine instead of six days.
The matter has been sorted and most of the teams will now have their big stars available from the first game itself," a senior IPL functionary privy to development told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
The likes of Steve Smith, David Warner, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler will arrive in the UAE late on Thursday night (UAE time) from the UK and on arrival will undergo RT-PCR test for COVID-19.
"They have undergone one rapid test before boarding (the flight) and will undergo another on arrival. Otherwise, the robust testing protocols will be followed as usual. The rationale behind the move is that all the players are entering from one bio-bubble to another," the veteran BCCI official said.
The PTI had earlier reported that one of the senior players, an Australian superstar, had written a letter to BCCI president Ganguly requesting for a three-day quarantine, instead of six.
The BCCI spoke to the officials of at least three franchises which have Australian and English stars and they seem to be very happy with the outcome.
"The BCCI did a great job in reducing the quarantine period to 36 hours. This means teams like Chennai Super Kings (Josh Hazlewood and Tom Curran), Rajasthan Royals (Smith, Buttler, Archer) will have all their players available from their first game. Ditto for Kings XI Punjab that has Glenn Maxwell in its roster and Delhi Capitals that has Alex Carry," a franchise official said.
The only franchise that was unaffected by the six-day quarantine period was Kolkata Knight Riders, which has its first game of the season on September 23 with Eoin Morgan, Tom Banton and Pat Cummins in its ranks.