The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is waiting for a definite decision from the Indian government even as it eyes the September 19 – November 8 window to organize the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the UAE.
The Indian cricket body has been keen on hosting IPL in 2020 and the putting back of the T20 World Cup, which is slated to beheld in Australia in October-Novembe, has has cleared it route for the high earning T20 league.
IPL chairman Brijash Patel also affirmed that IPL 2020 will take place across all 3 venues in the UAE from september 19 to November 8, subject to the approval of the Indian government. The three venues in the UAE are Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
The T20 league was at first slated to take place between March and May. But the Indian cricket body had to suspend it indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Government council of the T20 league will come together on 2nd August to give a final shape to the schedule and other arrangements for the much anticipated T20 event to be held in the UAE this year. All the eight teams will receive a clear picture of the tournament’s modalities during the meet.
Although, the SOPs will be mostly based on the ones prepared by England and Wales Cricket Board for the West Indies Test series that concluded successfully last week.
It is expected that most of the teams will send another set of player to the UAE to check the facilities and also the bio secure environment that can be created, there are other concerns that remain, which include accommodation plan and catering.
Here, we analyze the security protocols which may be enforced and the SOPs the IPL teams will have to follow in UAE for IPL 2020:
1) Quarantine Protocol: According to the current health protocol in Dubai, there is no need to be in quarantine if people are carrying a negative Covid-19 test report, but if they are not, they will have to go through a test.
2) Covid Test: Players will have to undergo four rounds of coronavirus testing two in India before departure and twice during the quarantine period in UAE. Testing will be a must for all passengers arriving in UAE and the sam goes to for players and staff.
3) Bio-secure bubble: Every franchise will have to create its own bubble in which the team will only be interacting with the limited number of people in their ecosystem or allotted to them by BCCI. A similar bubble will be created for BCCI and the IMG staff, broadcasters, etc according to a report.
4) DXB App: Every player who visits UAE for IPL 2020 must install the DXB App on their smartphone which is UAE's equivalent of India's Aarogya Setu app. Social distancing rules will be emposed and need to be followed on and off the field.
5) Travel & accommodation: As per a report, all teams will have to bear the expence of their own travel arrangements and accommodation in UAE. BCCI will coordinate with UAE authorities to “discounted hotel rates” and share it with the franchises. It will then be the franchise’s discretion to settle for options provided by BCCI
6) Dressing room protocols: Players will have to join their respective teams at the same time, a maximum of 15 players to be permitted inside the team dressing room.