Abu Dhabi: Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma might be undergoing a six-day quarantine in Abu Dhabi, but he is leaving no stone unturned in order to be in the best shape for Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 resumption in the UAE.
Mumbai Indians' official Twitter handle posted photos of Rohit sweating it out. Mumbai Indians had flown in skipper Rohit, Jasprit Bumrah and Suryakumar Yadav along with their families on a charter flight from Manchester to Abu Dhabi on Saturday morning.
They are now undergoing six days of quarantine and then they will link up with the rest of the squad. Rohit, Surya and Bumrah tested negative for COVID-19 before departure from Manchester and after arrival in Abu Dhabi.
Earlier on Friday, the 5th Test match between England and India was cancelled in Manchester. The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the Test match, however, the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the game.
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.
We were paralysed by fear of coronavirus: KKR coach McCullum
Dubai: Kolkata Knight Riders head coach Brendon McCullum says they were paralysed a little bit by fear when coronavirus struck the first half of the IPL in India.
It was KKR spinner Varun Chakravarthy and seamer Sandeep Warrier, who first tested positive for COVID-19 in May in the middle of the League, which was eventually postponed.
The Purple and Gold brigade led by England white-ball skipper Eoin Morgan had an underwhelming first half. They are languishing at the seventh spot but McCullum is hopeful for a strong showing when action resumes from September 19 in the UAE.
"In regards to the tournament which is upcoming (second half of the IPL phase), we can end it right. We can take the game on and we're in a situation where we need things to go our way," McCullum was quoted as saying by the KKR website.
"We need to hit the ground running, challenge one another privately, support one another publicly and try and get the best out of one another in the next 4-5 weeks. Who knows where we can go with this.
"There were sometimes throughout the season when I just felt we were being paralysed a little bit by fear," he added.
The virus had wreaked havoc in India at that time, claiming thousands of lives.
The 39-year-old former New Zealand skipper, who started his IPL journey as a player with KKR, is hopeful the team will be able to get rid of the angst that had been built in the first phase of the league.
"I wasn't able to free the guys up enough to understand that and that's sort of a challenge for me. But it is also a good challenge for the guys as well that they need to push the envelope of their own thinking as well.
"Hopefully we will be able to strip away a bit of the angst which had built up in the first part of the season, just go out there and try and enjoy ourselves.
"That's the ambition that I have got for the franchise and hence why I am unapologetic and unrelenting in my belief that we need to play a braver style of play," he said.
Talking about his coaching style, McCullum said, "When we left India (after IPL was called off due to Covid), I think everyone understood me as a coach on how I want our team to play."
"I am unapologetic about that as well because my job is to try and build something at KKR that is going to last far longer than I am going to last for the franchise," McCullum added.
KKR will open their second-phase campaign against Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore on September 20 in Abu Dhabi.
For Woakes, it is WC & Ashes not IPL
London: England pacer Chris Woakes says it would have been extremely hard to play in three back-to-back tournaments so he chose the T20 World Cup and the Ashes series over the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Woakes, who plays for the Delhi Capitals in the IPL, pulled out of the popular and cash-rich T20 league along with compatriots Jonny Bairstow (Sunrisers Hyderabad) and Dawid Malan (Punjab Kings).
"My inclusion in the World Cup squad, I didn't know was going to happen - especially a couple of months ago. The IPL has been rescheduled and thrown on to the end of our summer," Woakes was quoted as saying by 'The Guardian'.
"With the World Cup and the Ashes, it would have been too much in a short space of time. I would have loved to have been part of the IPL but something has to give," Woakes, who will play for Warwickshire this week, said.
Woakes said the T20 World Cup, set to begin in the UAE and Oman after the conclusion of the IPL, and the Ashes series assume significance which is no less than England's summer of 2019.
"A World Cup and an Ashes tour, it's almost as big a winter as our summer was in 2019. It's a shame with what's going on Covid-wise that it's not going to be as normal as everyone would like. But, from a cricket perspective, it's very exciting."
Woakes has shown keen interest in travelling to Australia for the Ashes when a lot of British players are unsure of going Down Under due to expected stringent restrictions.
It is expected that Australia will now allow players with their families on the Tour.