BCCI has come up with a 46-page health advisory which lays down all the pointers that everyone associated with the IPL needs to follow
With the Indian Premier League (IPL) all set to resume in the United Arab Emirates from September 19, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring health and safety of all parties involved.
The board has come up with a 46-page health advisory which lays down all the pointers that everyone associated with the IPL needs to follow in order to ensure the smooth functioning of the cash-rich league. All franchises will have to quarantine for six days before being able to enter the bio-bubble. The board has decided to set up 14 bio-bubbles and out of these 14, eight would belong to franchises.
“Within the Bio-Secure Environment, 14 bubbles will be created as mentioned below: Franchise teams and support staff – 8 Bubble, Match Officials & Match Management Team – 3 Bubbles, Broadcast Commentators and crew – 3 Bubbles.”
“All franchise team members must quarantine in their hotel room for 6 full days before entering the bubble. Upon arrival and before commencing any group training activities, all team members who will be included in the bubble will follow the below mentioned COVID-19 RT-PCR testing plan. A nasopharyngeal swab will be taken for testing. Test reports are available within 8-12 hours after sample collection,” states the health advisory.
The board has also laid down strict instructions that everyone in the bubble must travel through dedicated vehicles only and everyone has been asked to follow this guideline to the core. “During the IPL 2021, members within a bubble must travel only in the dedicated vehicles from a fleet of buses and cars accredited by BCCI, which will be sanitised regularly. The drivers of all such vehicles will also be in the respective bubbles, tested regularly for COVID-19, and undergo temperature screening,” states the advisory.
Just like last year, the BCCI has given go-ahead for bubble-to-bubble transfer hence the players coming from the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), will be able to enter the IPL bubble straight away.
“Players and team support staff coming directly from the bubble created for the England vs India series, Sri Lanka vs South Africa series and the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) may be permitted to join the franchise squad without serving the mandatory quarantine period, provided they satisfy the below-mentioned criteria. Commentators and broadcast crew who are working on the above three series’ can also avail bubble to bubble transfers provided they satisfy the criteria,” states the advisory.
As for media and fans, the advisory says: “The general public including media persons will not have access to the bubble facilities as well as stadiums for any activities. In addition, each agency and venue involved must risk assess their environment and associated processes as they ordinarily would.”
The Doping Control Personnel (DCP) will also follow the same social distancing and testing protocols as followed by the franchise teams, before and after arrival in the UAE. DCP will also be covered under the Bio-Secure Environments protocols and a separate Bio-Secure bubble will be created for them.
BCCI has asked all the eight franchises to ensure that every member travelling to UAE for the remainder of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League is fully vaccinated before leaving the country. “We have been told that all those travelling should have completed taking both the doses of vaccination so that there is no problem once teams reach UAE. The quarantine process is most likely going to be seven days before teams can start training,” the source said.
The action will then shift to Abu Dhabi where the Kolkata Knight Riders will square off against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Sharjah will host its first game on September 24 when Royal Challengers Bangalore take on Chennai Super Kings. In all, 13 matches will be held in Dubai, 10 in Sharjah, and 8 in Abu Dhabi.
Mumbai Indians will lock horns with CSK on September 19 to resume IPL 2021. The final game of the league stage will be played between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals on October 8.