UPDATED: March 24, 2021 15:22 IST
Royal Challengers Bangalore Director of Cricket Mike Hesson on Tuesday said the former finalists will have their training camp for Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 from March 29. RCB will begin their campaign against defending champions at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on April 9.
Mike Hesson, who took over as the Director of Cricket last year, also confirmed that star batsman AB de Villiers will arrive on March 28. Providing an update on the arrival of overseas players from Australia and New Zealand, Hesson said all of them will be reaching India through April 1.
New Zealand is currently involved in a limited-overs series until April 1 against Bangladesh. 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.
IPL 2021 is all set to kickstart from April 9. While the league stages will be held across 5 cities before moving to Ahmedabad for the knockouts and the final, which has been scheduled for May 30.
“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. ABD arrives on the 28th,” Hesson said in a video shared by RCB on social media.
Hesson, who arrived in India before the IPL auction in February, said the players and support staff have entered a 7-day quarantine before the training camp. The former New Zealand coach also sounded positive about players heading into the new season with match practice under their belt, unlike last year where they had resumed playing in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, Hesson also confirmed India players, including captain Virat Kohli, will be able to join the camp sooner than later due to the bubble-to-bubble policy that has been allowed by the BCCI. The cricket board, in its SOPs for IPL 2021, confirmed that players can transfer from one bio-bubble to another without having to undergo quarantine.
“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.