Bengaluru, August 26: The IPL 2020 is scheduled to start in the UAE from September 10. The schedule of the IPL 13 is not out yet but the BCCI and Emirates Cricket Board are working full-time to make sure that the tournament is conducted seamlessly.
The Covid 19 crisis has made it mandatory that all team members and associates remain in bio-secure bubble through the length of the tournament till November 10. Hence, the powers that be has put in place Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) ahead of IPL 2020. Here's a look into them.
1. The players and support staff of all teams were in quarantine for a maximum 14 days in India ahead of their trip to UAE and there was a Covid 19 test every three days. Team members were given flu shots prior to their departure to UAE.
2. Teams landed in Abu Dhabi will be again in a 14-day quarantine, while those arrived in Dubai will be isolated for six days.
3. All the players and team members have downloaded Arogya Setu, an app by India Government, and ALHOSN, an Emirates Government app, and filled their personal details as reported by the Hindu.
4. There have been reports that a UK firm has won the right to create bio-secure bubble in the UAE for the entire length of the IPL 2020. And once the team enters the bubble no one can breach it and will be allowed to enter only those areas that are sanitised and are designated under the bubble.
5. Some players are travelling to the UAE with their family, especially wife and children, and those accompanying members too will have to follow all health protocols.
6. During their trip to UAE, the players were asked to wear Hazmat kits and were not allowed eat outside or shop in duty-free shops or use public restrooms. The luggage were checked-in a night early and scanned and sanitised with utmost care.
7. Cabin baggage was wrapped specially for the travel so that the players need not open it during the travel. The essentials like mobile phones, passports and tickets were asked to be kept in a laundry bag.
8. For security check, the main check-in luggage was sent in advance a night prior. The hand luggage was cling wrapped from the hotel and players and support staff were asked to remove all electronics in a laundry bag with their names to be kept in hand with passport etc.
9. All the teams were flown out of India in chartered flights and players wore PPE kits. There were no food or beverage served on board. Water and sandwiches were packed by the team members themselves.
10. All players underwent mandatory Covid test upon their arrival in the UAE and there will be tests once in every three days till November 12.
11. During the quarantine period in the UAE, there will be no housekeeping service. But there will 24x7 room service and the food can be ordered through phone and edibles will be served in disposable plates. But there will be supply of towels and toiletries.
12. The hotel staff will be wearing mask and glove and those serving the players will be scanned every three days like the players and they will not be allowed to serve other guests. These staff will also remain in bio-secure bubble.
13. Players will be provided team room and game area to keep them engaged and all these areas and the bubble will be under 24x7 CCTV surveillance.
14. Teams can start training roughly two weeks ahead of the IPL 2020 and all the cricketing gears will be double sanitised at hotel and stadium. There will be no locker room facility in the stadiums during the training. If they need anything extra, a DNA personnel will be available to fetch it for players from hotel or anywhere else.
15. Team members will also have facilities like tailor, barber, massage specialists and other accompanying members.
16. Strict measures are put in place for ad shoots done by IPL 2020 sponsors and everyone associated will be part of bio-secure bubble.
17. NBA, English cricket and football leagues around the world that have restarted are using Oura Ring and the IPL 2020 too would use it to track Covid 19 symptoms. Team meetings will be done largely online. And it has been reported that teams have set in place in some internal arrangements to track the players.
18. Use of hand sanitisers are a must and if anyone has Covid 19 symptoms like fever or coughing, he will have to alert the team and other medical staff immediately.
19. If anyone break the bubble, the person will be put under a week-long isolation and will have to clear Covid tests to before returning to the IPL fold. If it is an intentional breach then the franchises can handle the issue separately and take appropriate actions.
20. There could be strict social distancing in the team bus too while travelling to and from stadium.