20 Mar 2021: IPL 2021: BCCI issues COVID-19 protocols, bubble-to-bubble transfer allowed
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has issued a detailed document comprising the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and bio-secure protocols for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League.
In an interesting development, bubble-to-bubble transfer of players has been allowed by the cricket board.
This means the players can directly enter a franchise bubble from their national-team bubbles.
Here is more.
Players: India and England players can directly join the IPL bubble
England's ongoing tour of India is set to conclude on March 28 following the third ODI.
As per the BCCI's new guidelines, the players from both sides can directly enter their IPL bubbles without having to undergo a quarantine period, post the series.
However, in other circumstances, the players, owners, franchise management members, commentators, or match officials, must undergo seven days of quarantine.
Fact: A total of 12 bubbles to be created
It is interesting to note that a total of 12 bubbles will be created; eight for franchise teams and support staff, two for match officials and match management teams, and two more for broadcast commentators and crew.
Criteria: Players should move to hotel in bus or charted flight
"Players coming directly from the bubble created for the India 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 accessed by Cricbuzz.
Guidelines: A look at the other guidelines
The BCCI has clarified that its officials and operations teams will not be a part of any bubble.
Hence, the BCCI officials cannot interact in person with any player, team support staff, management teams, and broadcast crews.
Meanwhile, the owners, who want to be a part of the bubble should quarantine in their hotel room for seven days before entering it.
Managers: BCCI to appoint integrity managers
Interestingly, the BCCI will appoint up to four security staff with each franchise. They will be the designated 'bubble integrity managers'.
They will join the respective team bubbles and travel with the teams throughout the tournament.
"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.
Developments: Here are the other developments
For now, the BCCI believes it is not possible to organize vaccination for those involved in the league.
Instead, "precautions will need to be taken to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the community".
In another update, the board has informed teams that the chance of transmission of the virus through cricket balls is low. However, saliva usage still remains barred.