New Delhi, Aug 6: In a process to begin their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 preparations, Mumbai Indians began quarantining their Indian players in a hotel and scheduled regular COVID-19 tests. Other franchises have also started the practice.
After completing their quarantine, players will then be allowed to train at the franchise's facility in Navi Mumbai.
As per ESPNcricinfo report, Rajasthan Royals have also planned to conduct tests for their players and support staff over the next two weeks, prior to their departure to Dubai. Another franchise has directed their Indian players to home quarantine as a precaution while simultaneously initiating Covid-19 tests.
"Outdoor training is out of question still, we're being cautious and since everything is still very uncertain with regards to SOPs, we're awaiting final confirmation. We have put forward our concerns with the IPL governing council, hopefully, everything will be clear this weekend so that we can start planning," a franchise source was quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
The BCCI's Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the upcoming IPL recommends that teams use "empty stands" as extended dressing rooms for outdoor strategy meetings in order to maintain social distancing.
The IPL, to be held from September 19 in the UAE, won't feature any toss mascot this year which means the BCCI will lose out on another avenue of earning sponsorship money. While players and support staff's families can join them, they won't be allowed to travel in the team bus and can't leave the bio bubble.
According to the SOP which was handed to the franchises and is in possession of PTI, the teams will be encouraged to use the stands for dressing room purpose which helps in maintaining social distancing.
"The Bio-Secure Environment means only essential staff will be on-site and no members of the public will be allowed. Therefore there will be more vacant areas at the stadium and hence the dressing room does not have to remain within the traditional area.
"Venue Cricket Operation teams should consider using appropriate areas beyond the normal dressing room," the SOP states. The SOP also states that franchises might install "Scalene Hypercharge Corona Canon (Shycocan), a device that has the ability to neutralise 99.9 per cent of the coronavirus that might be floating in the air in closed spaces."