MS Dhoni has taken yet one more step towards making his much-anticipated return to the cricket field. Ahead of joining Chennai Super Kings’ pre-season camp for this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman has tested negative for COVID-19. He will now fly to Chennai for the short camp which will begin on August 15.
The Chennai Super Kings captain needed to undergo the test to fulfill the SOP set by IPL Governing Council. As per the protocols issued by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), two negative tests are mandatory for each player before the franchises reach UAE. Anybody who tests positive will have to be quarantined for 14 days and will have to undergo two tests post that. Only if both the tests are negative, the individuals will be allowed to leave for the UAE.
The upcoming edition of the IPL will end MS Dhoni’s long sabbatical from the game. He has not played a single competitive game since the World Cup semifinal in July last year. As soon as the tournament got over, he took an indefinite sabbatical from the game. The sabbatical would have ended earlier this year during the IPL but the tournament was postponed in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Meanwhile, all the Indian players except Ravindra Jadeja will be a part of Chennai Super Kings camp before leaving for UAE. The camp is scheduled to be held in Chennai between August 15 and 20. Bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji is likely to be the only member of the coaching staff present at the camp. The other members of the staff, including head coach Stephen Fleming and assistant coach Michael Hussey are likely to join the squad in Dubai on August 22.
Overseas cricketers to join later:
Earlier this week, Super Kings chief executive officer Kasi Viswanathan confirmed that the overseas players will join the squad in UAE later. He stated that the franchise is hopeful that Lungi Ngidi and Faf du Plessis would reach the UAE after September 1. South Africa has currently sealed its borders to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 infection.
The only other South African player in the CSK franchise, Imran Tahir, will join the squad directly after taking part in the Caribbean Premier League that is scheduled to be played between August 18 and September 10 in Trinidad and Tobago.