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IPL 2020: Sunrisers Hyderabad batsman Virat Singh keen to make a statement in his debut season - Exclusive
However, the postponement of the tournament in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic was nothing short of a setback. The hard-hitting middle-order batsman, who had a rather productive Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament last year, didn't lose hope and continued practising during the lockdown.
His patience and the long wait has finally paid off and the country's premier domestic tournament is going to be held in the UAE from September 19.
The 22-year-old in an exclusive chat over the phone with MyKhel narrated about the precautions and protocols which he has to follow in order to clear the tests and get the final clearance to board that much-awaited flight to the UAE. The talented middle-order batsman also exuded confidence for a good show in the cash-rich league.
When asked about the protocols which have been put in place for the players from the franchise's side Virat said: "Yes, I have received a message from the franchise, I had my COVID-19 test done on August 18 and we have been asked to carry the hard copy of the report to Mumbai on August 21. So I'll be reaching the team hotel in Mumbai on 21st where we'll have another test in the evening. Once the players who test negative in both the reports, they will be allowed to board the flight to UAE on 23rd of July."
Talking about his preparations in Jameshdpur after the BCCI confirmed that this year's IPL will be held the talented cricketer said, "I have been practising at home and doing the routine training that's it. I have arranged for a local gym to be opened specifically for myself. Apart from that, I am not meeting with anybody, I've been practising with a couple of bowlers in the nets and that's it."
When how excited and nervous he is with regards to his maiden IPL the cricketer said, "The excitement level is there and I am not feeling nervous at the moment. But having said that, since it's going to be my first IPL, so I might be slightly nervous as and when I join my Sunrisers Hyderabad teammates for there are several legends of the game in the side."
Virat also revealed that Sunrisers Hyderabad captain David Warner and his opening partner from England, Jonny Bairstow, might miss out the first couple of games because they'll be arriving in the UAE just a couple of days prior to the start of the IPL. With mandatory six-day quarantine rules in place, the duo might have to sit out for a couple of games. Sunrisers are most likely going to play their first game on September 22.
"Yes, we have received the message in our Whatsapp group the David Warner and Jonny Bairstow will be joining us a couple of days prior to the start of the tournament. So they'll undergo the mandatory isolation and tests, and what I hear is that our first game is going to be on 22nd. So if they go into a six-day quarantine then they might miss out on a game or two but not more," he added further.
When asked if the absence of these two big names from the side could be a blessing in disguise for him and the team management might decide to hand over over IPL debut cap in the opening games itself, the youngster said he's not thought on such lines but he's prepared to put his best foot forward whenever he gets an opportunity.
"No, I am not thinking much about it as of now. But I am totally prepared and whenever I am going to get a chance, I'll look to make an immediate impact. I am already two to three years late, I should have made my IPL debut a few seasons back when I made my debut India U-19 side. But now I am prepared and I want to do well this year and show the world that I have arrived and that I belong to the big stage," he signed off.
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