The 13th edition of the IPL is all set to take place in the United Arab Emirates [UAE]. The 53-day tournament will kickstart from September 19 and the final will take place on November 10.
And, the BCCI is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that the tournament takes place safely in these unprecedented Covid-19 times.
According to a report published in India Today, the BCCI has sent the detailed list of Standard Operating Procedures [SOPs’] to the eight franchises.
The apex cricketing body in the country has listed protocols that will have to be followed by the franchises from the time they board their fight for the UAE till the completion of the tournament.
Separate hotels for franchises, social distancing in dressing rooms, electronic team sheets, and recommendations for virtual team meetings are some of the directives issued by the board.
1) All franchises have been asked to appoint a team doctor who will be responsible for ensuring that the bio-secure restrictions are strictly adhered to. The franchise medical team will receive a complete medical and travel history (since 1st March) of all players and ground staff at least two weeks prior to the tournament.
2) Players are allowed to travel with their families for the IPL.
Covid-19 testing for players and support staff for IPL 13
All players will undergo five tests for Covid before they enter the bio-bubble. Players, as well as, the support staff will have to undergo tests every 5th day after entering the bio-secure environment.
After two successful Covid-19 tests. 24 hours apart, players will be allowed to board their flight to the UAE. Post their entry in the Emirates, players will have to undergo three more tests within the space of 6 days.
[A] For Indian players and support staff
- As far as the Indian players and team support staff is concerned, they will undergo two Covid PCR tests, 24 hours apart, in the week leading up to the time when they assemble in the hotel chosen by the franchise.
- Anyone who tests positive for Covid should be asked to immediately quarantine and seek medical advice. After the completion of the 14-day isolation, the individual will have to return negative for two consecutive PCR tests before they are allowed back into the set-up.
[B] Overseas players and support staff
- All foreign players, just like their Indian mates, will undergo two Covid PCR tests, 24 hours apart before traveling to the UAE.
- Anyone who tests positive will undergo the same procedure as described for Indian players and support staff.
When players arrive in the UAE for IPL
After the cricketers and support staff arrive in the Emirates, they will undergo three PCR tests within the space of six days- Day 01, Day 03, and Day 06. Only after testing negative for all the three tests, will the players be allowed to join the bio-secure bubble of their respective teams’.
The Bio-secure environment during IPL
The BCCI will ensure that the bio-secure bubble will be defined in 4 broadly categorized environments. Hotels, Training sessions, matches annd transportation are the four domains in which different zones to be created to ensure social distancing between franchisees, team members, match officials, ground staff, broadcasters team, hotel staff, cricket operations team and security personnel.
The apex body has zeroed in on the risk mitigation measures for the bio-bubble, something which will have to be followed by all before entering the bubble, during their stay in the bubble and also at the time of exiting.
“Breach of any Bio-Secure Environment protocols by players and team support staff will be punishable under the IPL Code of Conduct Rules,” the BCCI has said.
SOP’s for Hotels during IPL
- Each of the eight franchises will be allotted a separate hotel.
- All the team members should be allowed rooms in a separate wing of the hotel and it must have a separate centrally conditioned AC than the rest of the hotel
- Following the third negative test, players will be allowed to meet their teammates. The SOP’s also mandate for food to be ordered in the individual rooms and the use of common dining areas should be avoided.
SOP’s for dressing rooms during IPL
- Important for players and support staff to practice social distancing as much as possible.
- Everyone should have access to hand sanitizer and /or soap and water.
- Common hand touch sites should be identified and sanitized on a regular basis.
- Scalene Hypercharge Corona Canon (Shycocan), a device that can neutralize 99.9% of coronavirus that might be floating around in the air closed spaces, will be installed.
SOP’s for Meetings during the IPL
- The BCCI has recommended the teams to hold virtual meetings via video and remote conference call.
- If group meetings are held in person, the protocols mandate it to happen in an outdoor environment with complete adherence to the social distancing protocols.
SOP’s for families during the IPL
- While the families have been allowed to be present with the players during the IPL, they must ensure they follow all the protocols while being in the bio-bubble.
- Families will not be allowed to travel with the players on the team bus.