Kings XI Punjab’s Chris Gayle joined the squad for his first training session ahead of the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Saturday after spending six days in mandatory quarantine in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The West Indies opener had arrived in the UAE last week. As per the standard operating procedures (SOP) set up by the BCCI and the IPL Governning Council, Gayle spent six days in complete isolation and tested COVID-19 negative thrice before joining the rest of the Punjab players.
The veteran cricketer said that he was looking forward to work in tandem with new director of cricket operations Anil Kumble and new captain KL Rahul.
“Back in class, some new students here as well and it was good to be around them. Some new teachers here as well, we have new headmaster (head coach) in Anil Kumble, looking to rally around with new head boy (captain) KL Rahul,” Gayle said in a video posted on the official YouTube channel of Kings XI Punjab.
On being asked about his quarantine period, Gayle replied: “Yeah, it was normal, it was pretty relaxing for me, I did some exercise and watched some TV. Now, here am I back to training.”
The 2020 season of the IPL will be played for 53 days from September 19 to November 10 across three venues in the UAE — Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Dubai.
The final match will be played on a Tuesday, to make it the first-ever IPL to have its final on a weekday. The matches this season will also start 30 minutes before their original time of 4 PM and 8 PM.
The IPL 2020, which was scheduled to be played from March 29 this year, was earlier postponed to April 15 before it was suspended again due to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.