‘AB de Villiers arrives on the 28th’: Mike Hesson provides update on RCB’s plans for IPL 2021

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Star Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batsman AB de Villiers will land in India on March 28, revealed franchise’s Director of Cricket Mike Hesson. Former finalists RCB will begin training for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) edition on Monday, March 29.

“ABD arrives on the 28th,” Hesson said in a video shared by RCB on social media.

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Former New Zealand coach Hesson also provided an update on the arrival of overseas players from Australia and New Zealand, stating they will all India through April 1.

New Zealand players are currently on international duty, hosting Bangaladesh for a limited-overs series until April 1. Big-hitting wicketkeeper-batsman Finn Allen, who was signed as a replacement for Josh Philippe, will join the camp after April 1, Hesson said. The Australia players will head to India after March 31, he added.

“We have got players arriving all the way through to 1st April, which is where we get the NOCs for some of our overseas players. Finn Allen is playing T20s in New Zealand till 1st April, and he will be coming the day after. Australians play until the 31st, the likes of Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson then jump on a plane and come,” said Hesson.

Hesson has been present in the country even before the IPL auction in February and stated that players and support staff have already entered a 7-day quarantine–as per the guidelines by the BCCI–before the commencement of the training camp.

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As per the standard operating procedure (SOP) sent out by the BCCI, it is compulsory for all players, management, and support staff entering the bubble to undergo a week-long quarantine in their hotel rooms. During this period, each person will be tested multiple times.

Individuals will only be allowed to come out of their rooms and commence outdoor training and practice sessions upon testing negative.

Hesson also confirmed Indian players, including captain Virat Kohli, will join the bubble immediately after the culmination of the ongoing India vs England ODI series as BCCI has allowed players involved in the series to join their respective franchises through bubble-to-bubble without having to quarantine.

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“We have got players that haven’t been in the bubble all the time, so they will come straight, bubble to bubble transfer from Pune and they will be able to join us. We have got one or two that are going to have a day or two at home. They have been in the bubble for so long so they need to freshen up. They will arrive and will have to undertake their seven-day quarantine,” Hesson added

IPL is set to kick off on April 9, with the final scheduled slated for May 30. RCB will begin their campaign against defending champions Mumbai Indians at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on April 9. Hesson is confident of his players heading into the new season on a positive note, courtesy, considerably match practice and unlike 2020 where they were called into action after an extremely long hiatus.

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