Anil Kumble’s Jumbo plans for making it a memorable IPL for Kings XI Punjab

Written by Vipin Darwade

With the Indian Premier League set to begin in the UAE from September 19, they will be itching to resume competitive cricket.

The 13th edition of the league is going to be one of the most challenging, in terms of getting players match fit and also in terms of getting them in good mental shape in the coming weeks with strict protocols in place. For such things, the work of the support staff becomes crucial.

“One needs to look at the anxiety factor. Everybody is anxious, they want to play. You have to sort of pull them back as it has been four months or so of not doing enough for you to go actually out there and put in 100 per cent straight away from Day 1,” Kings XI Punjab head coach Anil Kumble said.

“The advantage is that we have enough experience in the support team with Andrew Leipus (physio) and Adrian (Le Roux, strength and conditioning coach) who understand these situations. It is going to be tough for players to get match ready. We will build on it. That is the most important aspect, to make sure that they cope with anxiety and be ready.”

The KXIP players from Karnataka, including Rahul and Mayank Agarwal among others, have started their practice at Just Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. The team will fly to the UAE on either August 20 or 21.

Even before the teams get into the flight, the franchises will test players around three times. Also, the players and support staff have to produce a negative Covid-19 certificate that will have to be issued 96 hours before their landing in the UAE. After this, they will have to remain in hotel quarantine for six days too.

Once inside the bio-secure environment, players cannot go in and out during the tournament, cutting their physical interaction with the outside world.

The KXIP is working on ways to involve everyone when they are in bio-bubble via some fun activities.


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Vipin Darwade