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Sep 18 2020 | By - Ankita

How is UAE hosting a major cricket tournament with bio-bubble?

In less than 15 days, people around the world will be glued to their screens and enjoy the much-awaited IPL 2020 tournament. Nobody would like to miss a single match especially after the recent announcement of retirement by MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina from international cricket. The game will not only add a sense of breather from gloom this year but will also leave fans teary eyed because of the retirements.

 

You must be browsing the internet to know more about it, so here’s a one-destination read for all your queries on IPL 2020 tournament amid COVID-19. It’s a setback that ‘a crowd of passion’ cannot join their favourite players in the game at the stadiums but with the words ‘IPL 2020’ playing on your minds, the coronavirus scare among all of us will surely take a brief backseat. Here’s a hand-held tour of the safety precautions, bio-securable stadium, and the quarantine rules.

 

What is the IPL 2020 schedule?

The Board of Control for Cricket in India will host the 13th edition of Indian Premier League 2020 in UAE from 19 September to 19 November 2020. Matches will take place in three venues — Dubai, Abi Dhabi, and Sharjah (Emirates of United Arab Emirates). A total of eight franchises — Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kings XI Punjab, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Capitals, and Rajasthan Royals — are competing against each other.

The opening match will be played between defending champions Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings on 19 September 2020 in Abu Dhabi. After the opening tournament, Dubai will host the first game on 20 September 2020 when Delhi Capitals take on Kings XI Punjab.

Safety and precautions for players and staff - 

What is Bio-Bubble?

Here’s a trivia, England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had successfully organised an international series i.e. England and West Indies amid the COVID-19 pandemic. So for BCCI, it’s a big task to take care of all eight teams involved, and to expand with the process, the franchisees will have its own “bio-bubble” for the next three months. 

Maintaining such security is a huge challenge, an organisation will avoid a Jofra Archer like scenario (he breached biosecurity protocols during bilateral Test series between England and West Indies) with any of the players. Well, all franchisees will be allowed to replace players in case they get unwell during the tournament. IPL franchise will have a 24-player squad.

Bio-bubble means a group of people will move in a prescribed way, stay in a decided place, and travel by designated vehicle, all designed programmed for a 53-day window. Four strict protocols without forgetting social distancing and wearing masks.

Hotels

Training sessions

Matches

Transportation

How COVID-19 testing and quarantine will be conducted?

According to the protocol of Dubai, a person has to be tested five times before 72 hours of scheduled arrival and that too hold COVID-19 negative certificate from the country. Additionally, medical measures will be taken even if players are travelling between different Emirates in UAE. Players were tested three times in six days after their arrival and they have undergone six days quarantine after arrival.

Once in the secured bubble, no one is allowed to leave.

What is the flight arrangement?

Players are not allowed to leave before 20 August 2020 and to date all IPL 2020 franchises have entered their bio-bubble in UAE. Teams are gearing up for upcoming competition and continuing their daily routine in 7-star hotels in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Here are the teams and hotels they are staying:

  • Chennai Super Kings - Taj Dubai
  • Kolkata Knight Riders - Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi
  • Mumbai Indians - St. REGIS, Abu Dhabi
  • Royal Challengers Bangalore - Waldorf Astoria, Dubai
  • Sunrisers Hyderabad - Ritz Carlton, Dubai
  • Kings XI Punjab - Sofitel Palm, Dubai
  • Delhi Capitals - Palace Downtown, Dubai
  • Rajasthan Royals - One & Only The Palm, Dubai

Chartered flights commenced from India with approvals of the UAE government and the trickier task for franchises to arrange private jets for international players is now over.

SOPs for meetings

Only virtual meeting is recommended by the BCCI.

If an in-person meeting is necessary then it should be accompanied in large places where social distancing can adhere profoundly.

SOPs for match days

Social distancing without a doubt is the first important point.

Dressing rooms will be sanitised every few hours and that too deep cleaned.

Not more than 15 people are allowed in the dressing room at one time.

SOPs for daily matches

Players have to complete their daily temperature checks and health questionnaire before arriving at the venue of the match.

BCCI will adhere to ICC guidelines for handling cricket balls and that includes no use of saliva on balls.

No sharing of bottles rather assigned named drink bottles.

Final Note

UAE is considered the safest in the wake of an outbreak and the country has taken all necessary steps to curb the infection. Moreover, UAE has conducted the largest COVID-19 screening that leaves no chance of mistake in IPL 2020. Meanwhile, these precautions are part of players and staff safety so a breach of any bio-secure bubble environmental protocol will be punishable under the IPC Penal Code of Conduct and Rules.