IPL 2020 in UAE: Four coronavirus tests, bio-secure bubble and other Covid-19 protocols

The BCCI is awaiting a final decision from the Indian government even as it eyes the September 19-November 8 window to host the IPL in the UAE. BCCI has been keen on hosting IPL in 2020 and the postponement of the T20 World Cup, which was scheduled to be held in Australia in October-November, has cleared the route for the cash-rich T20 league.

IPL chairman Brijesh Patel also confirmed that Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 will be held across all 3 venues in the United Arab Emirates — Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah from September 19 to November 8, subject to the approval of the Indian government.

The cash-rich league was originally scheduled to take place between March and May. However, the BCCI had to suspend IPL 2020 indefinitely in the light of the coronavirus pandemic.

IPL’s Governing Council will meet on August 2 to give a final shape to the schedule and other arrangements for the eagerly-awaited T20 showpiece to be held in the UAE this year. All the eight franchises will get a clear picture of the tournament’s modalities during the meeting.

Although, the SOPs will be mostly based on the ones prepared by England and Wales Cricket Board for the West Indies Test series that concluded successfully earlier this week.

It is expected that most of the franchises will send their recce teams to the UAE to check out the facilities as well as the bio-secure environment that can be created, there are concerns that remain, including accommodation plan and catering services.

Here, we try to analyze the security protocols which may be in place and the SOPs the IPL franchises will have to follow in UAE for IPL 2020.

Quarantine protocol: As per the current health protocol in Dubai, there is no need to be in quarantine if people are carrying a negative Covid-19 test report, but if they are not, they will have to undergo a test.

Covid-19 tests: Players will have to undergo four rounds of coronavirus testing two in India before departure and twice during the quarantine period in UAE. Testing will be a must for all passengers arriving in UAE and the same will apply for players and staff.

Bio-secure bubble: Each franchise will have to create its own bubble in which the team will only be interacting with the limited number of people in their ecosystem or allotted to them by BCCI. A similar bubble will be created for BCCI and the IMG staff, broadcasters, etc according to a report.

DXB App: Every player who visits UAE for IPL 2020 must install the DXB App on their smartphone which is UAE’s equivalent of India’s Aarogya Setu app. Social distancing rules will be implemented and need to be followed on and off the field.

Travel & accommodation: According to a report, all franchises will have to figure their own travel arrangements and accommodation in UAE. BCCI will coordinate with UAE authorities to ensure “discounted hotel rates” and share it with the franchises. It will then be the franchise’s discretion to settle for options provided by BCCI or make their own arrangements. F

Dressing room protocols: Players will have to join their respective teams at the same time, a maximum of 15 players to be permitted inside the team dressing room.

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