Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) swashbuckling West Indian all-rounders Andre Russell and Sunil Narine reached the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to join the franchise ahead of the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
KKR’s star duo arrived after plying their trade in the recently-concluded Caribbean Premier League (CPL) which was won by Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR).
KKR posted pictures of Russell and Narine who will now spend six days quarantining themselves as per the standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the BCCI and the IPL Governning Council.
The Indian contingent of the Kolkata-based team and the foreign players who didn’t have any other assignment had already arrived in the UAE last month.
England cricketers Eoin Morgan and Tom Banton and Australian pacer Pat Cummins, all of whom are in the middle of a limited-overs series in the United Kingdom, will also join the purple and gold brigade ahead of their opening match.
KKR have spent humongous amount of money on their foreign recruits and will be hoping that they return dividends in the 13th season of the cash-rich tournament. The Dinesh Karthik-led team had failed to make it to the knockouts last year with the fifth-placed finish.
KRR will be looking at their big-name foreign imports to help improve on their fifth place finish last season. The Dinesh Karthik-led outfit finished on 12 points in IPL 2019, winning just six out of the 14 matches they played.
Meanwhile, The 2020 season of the IPL will be played for 53 days across three venues in the UAE — Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Dubai. KKR will begin their campaign against Mumbai Indians in September 23 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
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.
However, after the International Cricket Council (ICC) formally announced the postponement of the T20 World Cup, the BCCI capitalised on the opportunity to stage the IPL during the time the T20 World Cup was dated to take place.
But with the coronavirus situation escalating in India with each passing day, the Indian board decided to move the tournament out of the country. It is believed, UAE was chosen keeping in mind their prior experience of hosting a limited part of the tournament in 2014.