Three-day quarantine instead of six days: IPL 2020 teams ask BCCI permission
By Vivek Raj | Galatta | Aug 05, 2020, 06:30 pm
The franchises of the upcoming thirteenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) have requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to allow their players arriving in the UAE for a three-day quarantine period instead of the six days, as stipulated in the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) draft. In addition, permission has also been sought for the team and family dinners with "adequate" advanced notice.
A BCCI official told news agency Press Trust of India (PTI) that these points along with the teams' request for the food to be ordered from outside via contactless deliveries to their hotels will come up for discussion during the team owners' meeting with IPL officials.
The players and support staff will undergo COVID-19 tests on day 1, day 3 and day 6 of their quarantine in the UAE and only upon clearing them will they be allowed to train the existing BCCI SOP states, which reports say can be tweaked. Once the initial phase of testing is complete, they will be tested every fifth day during the 53-day cash-rich tournament, scheduled to be held from September 19 to November 10.
"Most players have not had much game time in the last 6 months and are looking forward to as much practice as possible," the official said. A point from the note issued by the franchises to be discussed during the meeting reads, "...Subject to the advice of medical professionals, can we consider allowing players to practice by staying in the bubble, with 3 days of quarantining instead of 6 days?".
Although some teams including the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) wanted to leave for the UAE early, the BCCI has sent out instructions to the franchises to not fly before August 20. The note also questioned, "Can teams be allowed to arrive anytime post August 15, instead of August 20 as mentioned to accommodate the quarantine period and still have enough time for practice and preparations of players?".
Families of players and team owners too are to remain in a bio-secure environment during the IPL, the BCCI SOP states. Now, a review in regard to it by the BCCI is what the teams want. "Currently the SOP suggests that they cannot interact with the squad, unless they are a part of the bubble. Owners will not be able to spend 3 months in a bubble", the note reads. It also stated, "Therefore, are there any specific protocols based on medical advice which can be considered for infrequent interactions with owners and families?"
The current SOP states the players are not allowed to interact with members of other teams during their quarantine in the UAE and adds that they will be permitted only after clearing at least three COVID-19 tests. Players want to relax by playing golf and participating in team and family dinners as the tournament is going to be a long one and teams will be lodged in different hotels.
"One big area of concern is the well-being of the players as they stay in a bubble for 80+ days. The pressures of competitive sport do not make it any easier", the note read. It further stated, "We understand protocol and bubble strategy from the England versus West Indies series including activities such as golf, visits to specific restaurants and visits to some predetermined places. Can IPL consider this with advice of medical professionals?" The note added, "Can the IPL also consider allowing food orders from designated delivery outlets using contactless deliveries to the hotel,".
Teams have also requested BCCI to provide clarity with respect to players being permitted to participate in commercial commitments towards their franchises' "shoots and meet and greets". They have also sought for early on-boarding of players coming straight to the tournament from the Caribbean Premier League and the bilateral series between England and Australia, which is scheduled to come to and on September 16.
"CPL concludes on September 10 and the bilateral series between England and Australia concludes on September 16", the note stated. Another question raised was, "These two events account for nearly 25 players participating in IPL. Subject to the guidance of medical professionals', can we consider early on-boarding of these players?"