IPL 2021 is set to be played from April 9. In the tournament opener, Mumbai Indians will be locking horns against Royal Challengers Bangalore. The first leg of the tournament will be played in Mumbai and Chennai, and then the cash-rich league will move on to the other four venues Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Ahmedabad.
A document listing Standard Operating Procedure (SoPs) for the upcoming edition of the IPL has been accessed by ANI and as per the 50-page document, players currently participating in the India-England limited-overs series have been allowed to not undergo quarantine while any other player, support staff member, match officials will need to undergo a mandatory seven-day quarantine period.
“Players coming directly from the bubble created for India vs. England series may be permitted to join the franchise squad without serving the mandatory quarantine period, provided they satisfy the following criteria after the conclusion of India vs. England series, the players are moved directly to the franchise team hotel either in the team bus or on a chartered flight,” states the SoP.
The BCCI has also informed all the franchises that a total of 12 bio-bubbles will be created. Among these, eight are for franchises and support staff. Two are for match officials and match management teams. The remaining two will be for broadcasters, and their crew.
The SoP also mentions the procedure which needs to be followed if a concerned authority has to leave bio-bubble midway through the IPL. “If there is a need for any participant’s movement out of the bubble e.g. unavoidable personal reasons, then such individuals will have to undergo 7 days quarantine and RT-PCR testing on Day 2, Day 5, and the morning of Day 7. Re-entry in the bubble will only be permitted after confirmation that all 3 test results are negative,” states the SoP.
“However, in exceptional circumstances, if players are required to visit a hospital for scans, injections, etc green corridors will be created to avoid close contact with any individuals who are outside their bio-secure bubble. Players and accompanying team staff must wear PPE (face masks and gloves) during hospital visits,” it adds.
Breach of any bio-secure environment protocols by franchise members or their families will be subject to disciplinary action by the BCCI, the cricketing body has clearly mentioned.
The BCCI officials and operations team will not be part of any bio-bubbles. However, all BCCI officials on IPL duties will be required to undergo RT-PCR testing every 3 days throughout the IPL 2021 season. The board has also informed that it will be appointing up to four security staff personnel with each franchise and they will be with the side in the capacity of “Bubble Integrity Manager”.
BCCI will also be providing a wrist band and it will be functioning as a tracking device and it needs to be worn by individuals at all times, including the hotel premises. If an individual ends up testing positive for Covid-19, the tracking device will help in tracking individuals who came in close contact with the concerned person during the previous 48 hours.