The BCCI has permitted the bubble to bubble transfer of players ahead of the upcoming edition of the IPL, says a Cricbuzz report. According to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and bio-secure protocols for IPL 2021, players can enter directly into a franchise’s bubble from their national team bubble.
The BCCI has allowed India and England players to directly enter their IPL team’s bubbles without having to undergo a quarantine period post the ongoing bilateral series. However, those coming from outside a bubble – a player, owner, franchise management member, commentator, or a match official – will all be required to undergo seven days of quarantine.
The board’s arrangement is a major relief for IPL franchises who will have their players coming in from bubbles outside India – South Africa will be taking on Pakistan in early April, for example. The new rule of bubble to bubble transfer will apply as long as the individual involved is flying by chartered flights.
“Players coming directly from the Bubble created for the India vs. England series, may be permitted to join the franchise squad without serving the mandatory quarantine period, provided they satisfy the criteria of moving directly to the franchise team hotel either in the team bus or on a chartered flight (sic),” the BCCI has stated in a note as revealed by Cricbuzz.
“If chartered flights are used then all protocols for crew members must be followed. If the travel arrangements are to the satisfaction of the BCCI Chief Medical Officer then such players will directly enter the franchise team Bubble without the need to serve a quarantine period or undergo an RT-PCR test,” the note added.
It is understood, the BCCI will be creating 12 bio-secure bubbles for the IPL 2021, divided in eight for the franchises and teams taking part, two for match officials and match management teams, and two for broadcast commentators and crew.
The board has confirmed that none of its officials and operations teams will be part of any bubble. Consequently, BCCI officials cannot interact in person with any player, team support staff, match management teams and broadcast crews. Those owners wanting to be part of their team’s bubble must quarantine in their hotel room for seven days before that.
BCCI to appoint bubble integrity managers
The BCCI will be appointing four security staff members with each franchise team. These will be the designated bubble integrity managers. They will remain inside the bubble and will travel with the teams for the entire duration of the IPL. “Their job will be to report any Bio-secure Environment protocol breaches by members of the franchise team to the BCCI Chief Medical Officer,” stated the BCCI note.
A tracking device in the form of a wrist band will also be provided by the BCCI. This tracking device must be worn by all individuals at all times, including when inside the hotel premises. If a person returns a positive RT-PCR test result, this tracking device will be of help in identifying those other individuals who were in his or her contact in the last 48 hours.
Not possible to vaccinate all: BCCI
The BCCI has also cleared that it won’t be possible to vaccinate all those involved in the IPL 2021. It was earlier expected that the board will organise for the vaccination of players and others.
The board said in a note, “the vaccination program against COVID-19 is underway in India and vaccines are currently being administered to the at-risk population viz. front-line workers, health care professionals, people over the age of 60 years and those between the ages of 45-59 years who have comorbidities like cardiac ailments, diabetes, cancer, etc. Until most of the population is vaccinated and immune to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, precautions will need to be taken to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the community.”
No danger from cricket balls: BCCI
The BCCI is learnt to have informed teams that the chances of virus transmission through the cricket ball is low. The board, though, will still follow the ICC guidelines for cricket amid the pandemic and won’t allow saliva to be applied on the ball.
“New scientific study of cricket balls as potential vectors of the novel coronavirus showed the risk of transmission to be very low. If the cricket ball goes in the stands or outside the stadium, the 4th umpire will provide a replacement from the library of cricket balls. The previous ball when returned will be sanitized with alcohol based wipes and/or UV-C by the 4th umpire and placed in the library,” the BCCI note said.
BCCI issues entry guidelines for IPL 2021
Further, the BCCI has issued entry guidelines for the initial leg of the IPL 2021 in Mumbai and Chennai.
Entry in Mumbai: “All passengers arriving from the UK, Middle East, South Africa, Brazil and Europe have to undergo a mandatory institutional quarantine for seven days in Mumbai at their own cost. Exemptions can be sought through government issued guidelines. However, there is no quarantine for the domestic passengers”, reported Cricbuzz.
Entry in Chennai: “Anyone looking to enter Tamil Nadu from other Indian states and union territories will be required to submit a mandatory e-pass issued by the government of Tamil Nadu. All international passengers entering the state either through direct flights or from other Indian states and union territories will be required to submit mandatory e-pass issued by the Government of Tamil Nadu.”
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