IPL 2021: BCCI issues new COVID-19 guidelines for players, read here

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday released BCCI’s bio-secure protocols for Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, which is set to commence from April 9.

In what comes as a big relief for India and England players, the board has allowed a bubble-to-bubble transfer of players who are currently part of the ongoing India vs England series.

The BCCI has made it clear that those players who will be coming directly from the India-England bubble, will not be forced into quarantine and will be allowed to join their respective franchises immediately without having the need to undergo quarantine or even clear extra RT-PCR Tests.

“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 stated in a note, reported 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.

However, it is yet to be seen if the same rule will apply for other bubbles, such as those taking part in the South Africa-Pakistan series. But, the franchise officials believe that the Bubble-to-Bubble transfer rules will apply for them too as long as they are flying by chartered flights.

Notably, total 12 Bubbles will be created out which eight Bubbles will include franchise teams and support staff, two Bubbles will be for match officials and match management teams and two more Bubbles are meant for broadcast commentators and crew.

Moreover, the BCCI’s officials and operations teams will not be part of any Bubble and as a consequence, the BCCI officials cannot interact in person with any player, team support staff, match management teams and broadcast crews.

Following are the SOPs that have been issued by BCCI for IPL 2021:

  • Bubble-to-Bubble transfer rules will apply for players as long as they are flying by chartered flights.
  • Bubble integrity managers for each team: The BCCI will appoint up to four security staff with each franchise team who will be the designated Bubble integrity managers. They will travel with the team for entire IPL 2021. “Their job will be to report any Bio-secure Environment protocol breaches by members of the franchise team to the BCCI Chief Medical Officer,” the note said.
  • No Covid-19 vaccination drive for those involved in IPL 2021: “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,” the note said.
  • No risk from Cricket balls: “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 application of saliva, however, is still disallowed.
  • Entry guidelines for 1st leg in Mumbai and Chennai: The passengers arriving from the UK, Middle East, South Africa, Brazil, and Europe will be required to undergo 7-day quarantine at their own cost if travelling to Mumbai, while those entering Chennai will be required to submit an e-pass issued by the Tamil Nadu government.

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Sagar Biswas

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