Rajasthan Royals' Steve Smith 7
The relaxation of quarantine rules in means Rajasthan Royals skipper Steve Smith will be available for his team for their first match on September 22. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: The likes of Steve Smith, David Warner or Aaron Finch may not have to miss even a single match for their respective franchises following a relaxation of their six-day quarantine norms. Altogether more than 21 players from England and Australia will be touching down in Dubai on a chartered jet on Thursday night - just a day after the two countries completed their white ball series - and will have to undergo 36 hours of quarantine instead.

The availability of the big overseas stars had been a contentious issue due to the dates of the one-day series ending on September 16, forcing seven of the franchises coming together to commission a chartered jet directly from Manchester to Dubai - ensuring that the players would be flying directly

The likes of Steve Smith, David Warner, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler will undergo RT-PCR test for COVID-19. “They have undergone one rapid test before boarding (the flight) and will undergo another on arrival. Otherwise, the robust testing protocols will be followed as usual. The rationale behind the move is that all the players are entering from one bio-bubble to another,” a senior BCCI official told PTI.

“The BCCI did a great job in reducing the quarantine period to 36 hours. This means teams like Chennai Super Kings (Josh Hazlewood and Tom Curran), Rajasthan Royals (Smith, Buttler, Archer) will have all their players available from their first game. Ditto for Kings XI Punjab that has Glenn Maxwell in its roster and Delhi Capitals that has Alex Carry,” a franchise official said.

The scenario, however, is not clear about Abu Dhabi-based Kolkata Knight Riders, which has their first game of the season on September 23 with Eoin Morgan, Tom Banton and Pat Cummins in their ranks.