IPL 2021 in COVID-19: Here's how BCCI plans to beat rising pandemic threat
IPL 2021 in COVID-19: Here's how BCCI plans to beat rising pandemic threat.
The latest Indian Premier League (IPL) season kicks off on Friday, but the rising Covid-19 cases among players, franchise staff, service providers and several others associated with the tournament is giving BCCI a big headache. Teams, support staff and many other stakeholders are in bio-bubbles till the end of the tournament, and there will be no crowds at the games, but the virus is still proving to be a tough opponent even before a ball is bowled.
It has forced the BCCI top brass to go back to the drawing board for fresh ideas to deal with the problem. The new measures include requesting for separate IPL check-in counters at airports, daily Covid tests and the appointment of a bio-bubble integrity officer. After Mumbai Indians talent scout and former India wicketkeeper Kiran More and Royal Challengers Bangalore's Australian recruit Daniel Sams tested positive, the number of people associated with the IPL who are confirmed to have been infected is now 36.
Special treatment, stricter measures
Hence, the Board is going to request the Indian government to allow separate IPL security check-in counters at the airport, so that teams can have a secure bio-bubble. More's positive test has forced BCCI to think of ways to make its bio-security apparatus more robust. The former stumper tested negative before boarding the flight to Chennai, but was found to be infected, but asymptomatic, five days after landing. A possible explanation is that More could have been exposed to the virus during travel, hence the board's request for separate IPL check-in counters as each team will travel three times after entering the bio-bubble.
Taking no chances
As per the protocol, any player/support staff who comes in direct contact with a Covid-19 infected person will have to undergo seven days in isolation but if players have had minimal contact with the positive case, they will be allowed to train after two negative tests.
That's why Mumbai Indians were allowed to resume training despite More's positive test. The team was kept under isolation on Tuesday and Wednesday, but after two Covid-19 tests, it was decided to allow players to resume training. As More's interaction with MI batsmen and bowlers was minimum, the BCCI and franchise medical teams decided to allow players to train for the inaugural IPL match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday.
The IPL is all set to begin on April 9.
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