Cricket fans in India are excited as their favourite T20 competition, the Indian Premier League (IPL) is finally ready to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from September 19 to November 10. Meanwhile, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has laid down some safety protocols for players and support staff.
According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, players and support staff will need to clear at least four tests and a week-long quarantine before they can start training in the UAE. Not only this, but the franchises have also received the draft document of standard operating procedures (SOPs). The SOPs include details on do’s and don’ts during the 53-day event.
The SOPs include the permit of families of squad members to travel to the UAE and stay inside the biosecure bubble. However, the final decision concerning that will only be taken by each franchise. Furthermore, each team must have a medical doctor on board.
The SOPs also direct the IPL franchises to carry two rounds of testing before their squads depart for the UAE. Additionally, the player or staff in question can only fly out if both those tests return negative.
Now, coming to the part when players will arrive in UAE. In this condition, there will be three tests – first on the day of the arrival, second on the third day and third on the sixth day. Once all those results come back negative, only then an individual will be allowed to enter the bio-secure environment. Not only that, everyone in the bubble will be tested every fifth day until the tournament gets over.
If a squad member tests COVID-19 positive during the tournament, then the concerned person would need to isolate but outside the bubble. Also, the infected person would be put in a sanitised room within the same hotel.
The report also makes it clear that no person is supposed to go in and out of the biosecure bubble during the tournament. Strict social distancing norms have been recommended, and squad members have also been asked to wear masks outside their rooms at hotels.
The report further claims that franchises have been asked to book a hotel or resort solely for the squads with no outsiders allowed.