IPL 2020: Three COVID-19 tests within a week on arrival in UAE

According to the standard operating procedures (SOPs), every player and support staff member will have to test negative thrice during the weeklong quarantine in UAE to be allowed inside the bio-secure bubble.

It is understood that SOPs and the fixtures will be formally shared with the franchises only after the BCCI receives the central government’s letter of approval, which should be “any time (soon)”.   -  K. V. S. Giri

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is planning to conduct three COVID-19 tests on each player and support staff of all eight Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises within a week of their arrival in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the T20 league’s rescheduled edition starting September 19.

Sportstar understands that according to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) - the final draft is set to be shared with the franchises later this week - besides a mandatory PCR test “within 96 hours preceding departure”, every player and support staff member will have to test negative thrice during the week-long quarantine in UAE to be allowed inside the bio-secure bubble.

“There will be three tests: on the day of the arrival, on the third and the sixth day. Once you get the third negative result, only then an individual will be allowed to enter the bubble,” revealed an IPL insider. “After that, everyone in the bubble will be tested every fifth day until the tournament is over.”

READ| IPL 2020 to be played from September 19 to November 10

Teams prepare for departure

The BCCI is meanwhile planning to make training facilities in UAE available for pre-tournament camps to all the eight franchises starting August 27. Barring Chennai Super Kings, cricketers from all other teams confirmed to Sportstar that they have been instructed for tentative departure on August 19 or 20. Only CSK cricketers have been informed “to be ready to leave on August 10”, should the need arise. The date of departure for most teams is in sync with serving the mandatory week-long quarantine before starting the on-field preparation.

It is understood that SOPs and the fixtures will be formally shared with the franchises only after the BCCI receives the central government’s letter of approval, which should be “any time (soon)”. Besides, the operation rules, specifying the training schedule, will also be sent to all the franchises.

“We just hope that there’ll be no favouritism when it comes to stuff like the number of training sessions under lights allotted to teams,” said a franchise official.

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