DUBAI: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) opening batsman Devdutt Padikkal has said that it does not feel like that there has been a break and it will be just about carrying the momentum once the Indian Premier League (IPL) season resumes in the UAE.
The IPL 2021 season will resume in the UAE on September 19 with Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) locking horns against each other.
“It is almost like we are continuing the tournament again, it does not feel like that we have had a long break because we have had enough cricket. It does not feel like a huge break and it is just about continuing with the momentum we had in the first phase of the season,” said Padikkal in a video posted on the official Twitter account of RCB.
“In India, cricket is a huge festival and it is a religion. There is a lot of attention you get outside the sport as well so it is important you try to focus on the game. It is very easy to drift away and get distracted, so what I have tried to do is to focus on the game and try not to look at the media because it is easy to get distracted by those things,” he added.
When asked about whether this is the year for RCB to win the IPL, Padikkal said: “I would hope so. Everyone comes with the hope of winning the IPL, hopefully this is our year. We have a good squad and we have gotten good replacements as well so we look ready for the challenge.”
In a big development, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) is arranging a charter flight to get Virat Kohli and Mohammed Siraj into Dubai on Sunday morning, ahead of the resumption of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. They will undergo a 6-day quarantine period before joining the team bubble.
Speaking to ANI, sources within the RCB franchise confirmed that Virat and Siraj will be flying out from Manchester in a charter flight on Saturday night and reach Dubai early on Sunday morning.
“Yes, we have arranged a charter flight for Virat and Siraj, both of them will be flying out at 11:30 PM UK time on Saturday and they will reach Dubai early Sunday morning. Safe transit of players is the utmost priority for RCB. They will undergo 6-day quarantine there before joining the team bubble,” the source said.
The 14th season of the IPL, which was postponed in May this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, will resume on September 19 in Dubai with a blockbuster clash between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians.
The action will then shift to Abu Dhabi where Kolkata Knight Riders will square off against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Sharjah will host its first game on September 24 when Royal Challengers Bangalore take on Chennai Super Kings.
In all, 13 matches will be held in Dubai, 10 in Sharjah, and 8 in Abu Dhabi. The BCCI has decided to do away with contact tracing devices for the UAE leg, starting on September 19.
The Indian board decided that Bubble Integrity Officers will do the necessary contact tracing if any player tests positive for COVID-19 in UAE. The board has come up with a 46-page health advisory that lays down all the pointers that everyone associated with the IPL needs to follow in order to ensure the smooth functioning of the league.