Kolkata Knight Riders off to UAE, to kick off their IPL-II campaign in high spirits
The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) left for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Friday (August 27) to begin preparations for the second half of IPL 2021. The remaining 31 matches, including the playoffs, will be played between September 19 and October 15.
Kolkata Knight Riders might find themselves in the bottom half of the IPL 2021 table standings, but the spirited team has more to offer as the Eoin Morgan-led side plays RCB in their first match at Abu Dhabi. Having started the IPL 2021 season on a bad note with just 2 wins in 7 matches, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) camp led by Eoin Morgan was left distraught as the talented squad stood in the second last place on the table at the halfway mark of the marquee T20 tournament.
Sources close to KKR confirmed Indian players and support staff have been asked to assemble in Mumbai on Wednesday (August 25) before boarding a charter flight to Abu Dhabi the day after. The overseas contingent will fly directly into the Emirates, subject to their international commitments. KKR thus becomes the seventh franchise to make their itinerary known. While the Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have already started training, the Delhi Capitals (DC) are currently undergoing the mandatory six-day quarantine in Dubai.
After the resumption of the tournament was announced to take place from September 19 onwards, the KKR team members have been slogging hard in the nets, gym and through other training routines on the back of huge names like Andre Russell, Tim Southee, Sunil Narine among others to make a difference in overseas conditions. While KKR will be without the services of Australian bowling all-rounder Pat Cummins, they will be heading into the second phase of the tournament with their full squad strength including Tim Southee (as a replacement) alongside Indian batters Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik, and Shubman Gill.
The KKR franchise enjoys a wide fanbase on social media and regularly updates their followers with the latest ongoings amidst the star-studded camp co-owned by Bollywood's 'King Khan' Shah Rukh Khan, who adds to all the glitz and glamour. KKR and MI are the only two franchises with their base in Abu Dhabi, and they will be training at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. The other six sides will operate from Dubai and set up their preparatory camps at either the ICC Academy or the Dubai International Stadium.
13 matches of the IPL schedule 2021 will be played in Dubai, 10 in Sharjah, and 8 in Abu Dhabi. KKR would like to continue this upbeat momentum and bring it to the ground by performing equally well against RCB in their opening game of the IPL phase-II at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on September 20.