The BCCI is arguably the wealthiest cricket board in the world and found a way to conduct the Indian Premier League (IPL) amid the pandemic this year. With India gradually becoming a hotspot for COVID-19, the BCCI chose UAE as the venue since the cases are at a controllable rate. To keep the tournament going successfully, the Indian cricket board has spent nearly ten crores for over 20000 COVID-19 tests.
While the eight franchises have borne the cost of testing in India, the BCCI will take responsibility RT-PCR tests, conducted from August 20 when the teams began landing in the UAE.
Not too long ago, a handful of officials and players of the Chennai-based franchise tested positive for the virus; hence, the authorities have to remain extra cautious moving forward. It forced CSK’s camp to extend the quarantine period. The 13th edition will take place from the September 19 and continue till November 10.
BCCI revealed to have a tie-up with VPS Healthcare, a UAE–based company to help them carry out the testing. It is understood that it would comprise of more than 20000 tests, including everyone while each would cost 200 AED (Dirham) to the BCCI. Hence, that would amount to INR 10 crores for COVID-19 tests while 75 workers, who are part of VPS Healthcare will assist with the testing process. A total of 1988 COVID tests have already been conducted amongst all the stakeholders.
“We have engaged VPS Healthcare, a UAE based company to conduct the tests. While I can’t put a number, it will be more than 20,000 tests which would include everyone. Each test would cost BCCI around 200 AED (Dirham) excluding taxes.
“So BCCI will be spending something in the tune of Rs 10 crore for the COVID tests. Around 75 healthcare workers who are part of the company are a part of the IPL testing process,” a senior IPL official told PTI.
We couldn’t have taken the risk: BCCI
The senior official added that the BCCI did not want to leave anything to chance or the last moment. For the 75 health workers, a separate bio-bubble also exists created by VPS Healthcare in a hotel. Fifty men are associated with the testing process, while the remaining 25 stands involved in lab and documentation work. However, the company is taking care of those expenses and not the Indian board.
“We couldn’t have taken the risk. A separate bio-bubble has been created by the company in a hotel. Around 50 of its health care staff are attached with testing process while another 25 are engaged in lab and documentation work. The BCCI is however not paying for this bio-bubble and hotel expenses which will be borne by the company,” the representative added.