IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals have emphasized the importance of abiding by the COVID-19 protocols ahead of the 13th edition of the extravaganza in the UAE. While maintaining one’s health is absolutely necessary, the prevailing global pandemic has made it more significant. Rajasthan Royals’ COO conceded that adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines outweighs the availability of their crucial players.
Rajasthan Royals will be without their four foreign players for the first week of the tournament. The likes of Ben Stokes, skipper Steve Smith, Jofra Archer, and Jos Buttler will join the team after completing their international commitments. While the IPL begins on the 19th of September, Australia’s limited-overs leg against the hosts England ends on the 16th, commencing on the 4th. After arriving in the UAE, all the players have to undergo a six-day isolation period mandatorily.
The franchise’s COO Josh McCrum admitted that the limited-overs rubber would be beneficial for both the teams as they will retain match-fitness. Josh sees it as the best exercise before competing against the best players in the world regularly. However, he has put abiding the COVID-19 protocols ahead of the potential impact on their matches, which can happen due to the unavailability of their key players.
“English and Australian players will be competing against each other in a high quality series right before the IPL which has many positives because it’ll enable them to be at full match fitness. They’ll be competing at the highest level before the IPL where they’ll be playing against the best players day in day out. They may miss the first match due to the protocols put in place by the BCCI but we believe the protocols are necessary to keep everyone safe,” McCrum stated as quoted by News18.
“Contract tracing will begin immediately” : Rajasthan Royals
McCrum further said that suspected players would be immediately isolated and managed by the doctors of the respective IPL teams. The BCCI is also jotting down hospitals equipped to handle COVID-19 cases, which would be as per the regulations of the UAE government.
“Suspected or positive cases will immediately be isolated from the team and the case will be managed by team doctor in accordance with IPL medical team. Contract tracing will begin immediately. BCCI are putting together a list of accredited hospitals which will be fully equipped to handle all such cases. All cases will however be treated as per set guidelines and protocols of the UAE government,” he added.