Players and members of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) franchise have arrived in Bengaluru to begin their quarantine ahead of IPL 2021 in the UAE.
RCB had earlier confirmed that Indian players, support staff and the team management would assemble in Bengaluru on Saturday, August 21. The contingent will undergo seven days of quarantine and COVID-19 tests for three days during this period.
Taking to their social media accounts, RCB shared pictures of their members arriving in Bengaluru. The franchise shared the images with the caption:
“And it begins…. Our stars arrived in Namma Bengaluru last night and started their quarantine before leaving to the UAE on 29th August. #PlayBold #WeAreChallengers #IPL2021 #HomeComing.”
After ending their quarantine, the RCB contingent will depart for the UAE on a chartered flight from Bengaluru on August 29. Meanwhile, the other international players and staff members will start assembling in the UAE from August 29 onwards. After reaching the UAE, RCB members will have to undergo another six days of quarantine.
On Saturday, RCB announced key developments to their squad. Sri Lankan leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga was roped in as a replacement for Australian spinner Adam Zampa, who is unavailable for the second half of IPL 2021.
RCB also signed Sri Lankan fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera and Singapore all-rounder Tim David. Finn Allen, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams and Scott Kuggeleijn are among the players who will be unavailable for RCB during the second half of IPL 2021.
Moreover, Mike Hesson, the director of cricket operations at RCB, has taken over as the franchise’s head coach, with Simon Katich stepping down citing personal reasons.
Wanindu Hasaranga had been on our radar for a long time: RCB coach Mike Hesson
RCB coach Hesson revealed that Hasaranga has been on the team’s radar for a long time and that his recent performance against India was not the only reason why he was picked.
Addressing a virtual press conference following the changes in the RCB camp, Hesson said:
“We have a scouting programme that has been in place for the last two years, where we know almost every player who is playing cricket around the world at a decent level. Wanindu has been on our radar for a long time. In fact, we needed a replacement in the last IPL; he was certainly the person we called upon. It’s not a recency factor.”
“We are not surprised by his success in recent times, but he has been doing it for a while. We like his skill set, and we like the fact that he is a multi-skilled cricketer. So, he offers us the ability to bat a little bit deeper as well if we choose to play the overseas spinner along with Chahal. And that gives us a lot of exciting options, so the fact that he performed well against India in recent times is great, but certainly not surprising,” Hesson added.
RCB resume their IPL 2021 campaign against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on September 20.
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