After deciding not to take the field on Friday for the 5th Test at Old Trafford, Virat Kohli & Co are very worried about their stay in the UK. They want to leave the UK as soon as possible and move to a bio-secure bubble arranged for them in the UAE for IPL 2021 due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the camp. With arranging charter flights difficult on such short notice, franchises are also open to commercial flights.
Teams which are trying to fly out their players from UK
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Suryakumar Yadav along with their families.
Chennai Super Kings: Ravindra Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shardul Thakur, Moeen Ali and Sam Curran.
Punjab Kings: Captain K L Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Mohammad Shami and Dawid Malan are the Punjab players who are in Manchester.
The Manchester Test was cancelled after BCCI and ECB failed to convince the players about their well-being. As per reports, the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah could barely sleep on Thursday night and have been in touch with their IPL franchises to sort out travel arrangements for their earliest departure from England.
The cricketers are understood to be worried about more cases in the camp after assistant physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive for the virus, five days after head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar all returned positive tests.
“The team would not have been so reluctant to play if any member from the operations team would have tested positive. Almost all the players had been in close contact with physio Yogesh Parmar. One must remember Parmar tested positive four days after Shastri, Arun and Sridhar,” a BCCI source told TOI.
The fear amongst the cricketers including Virat Kohli is that many may test positive as almost all the players had taken sessions under Parmar. With their families and kids around, they don’t want to take the risk of Covid spread in the camp. All the players are currently in isolation in their hotel rooms in Manchester.
“The players had decided amongst themselves that it was important to break the chain of infection with the IPL and T20 World Cup coming up on the bounce. The players feared if they kept mingling with each other, there was a risk of the cases multiplying every two-three days,” the source added.
The players were supposed to leave for UAE after September 15 when the Test ended and were to move from a bubble to bubble without serving any quarantine. But now, they all will have to serve 6-day isolation in the UAE upon arrival in Dubai.
However, as arranging charter flights on such short notice is a difficult task, many franchises are looking at commercial airlines to arrange tickets.
“Charter flight is not a possibility anymore. We are trying to get their tickets done for a commercial flight tomorrow. When they land, they will do six-day quarantine like the rest of the players,” CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan told PTI.
“The BCCI isn’t arranging any charter flights since the Test match has been cancelled. So every franchise is making their own travel arrangement. Since they are all flying commercial, they will be doing six days of room quarantine,” a senior IPL official said.
Punjab Kings CEO Satish Menon said: “In all likelihood, our players will fly out from Manchester tomorrow.” Indian players have been in their rooms in Manchester since junior physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive on Thursday.