Most Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises have decided to travel to the United Arab Emirates with their own net bowlers.
Bio-secure bubble intact
The move will help teams avoid the bother of finding net bowlers in the UAE and also ensure that the bio-secure bubble remains intact.
With the squads set to fly out between August 20 and 23, several franchises are in the final stages of selecting the right candidates.
IPL governing council chairman Brijesh Patel told Sportstar that it is not mandatory for teams to travel with an exclusive set of net bowlers. “It’s left to the franchises,” Patel said. “But if they want, they can take the services of the local bowlers as well.”
However, Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders are looking to pick eight to 10 bowlers to stay with the team during the tournament.
“We want to take a set of our own bowlers, but we are still trying to figure things out. We will take a call soon,” CSK CEO K.S. Viswanathan said. “If we are carrying a group of selected bowlers, we need to ensure they are really good,” a franchise owner said. “It will be difficult to seek replacements later. So, the coaching staff is on the lookout.”
While Delhi Capitals is planning to take five to six bowlers, Sunrisers Hyderabad is still in discussions with its support staff.
Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and KKR — all of whom run academies — will likely have an advantage in terms of the options at their disposal.
The net bowlers will be tested regularly before their departure and upon arrival in the UAE.