Cricket

Three COVID-19 tests within a week of arrival in the UAE

Ready for boarding: Chennai Super Kings could be the first team to leave for the UAE.

Ready for boarding: Chennai Super Kings could be the first team to leave for the UAE.   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

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

The Hindu has learnt that according to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) — the final draft is set to be shared with the franchises later this week — in addition to a mandatory PCR test “within 96 hours preceding departure”, every player and support staff member will have to get three negative test results during the week-long quarantine in the UAE to be allowed into the bio-secure bubble.

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

The BCCI is planning to make training facilities available to all eight teams for pre-tournament camps in the UAE from August 27. Barring Chennai Super Kings, cricketers from other teams confirmed to The Hindu that they have been instructed to be prepared for 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 beginning on-field preparations on August 27.

It is understood that the SOPs and fixtures will be formally shared with the franchises only after the BCCI receives the Central government’s letter of approval, which is expected “any time”. The operational rules — specifying the training schedule, meticulously prepared by IPL staff in association with the event management partner — will also be sent to all the franchises.

“We just hope that there will 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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Printable version | Sep 23, 2020 4:58:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/three-covid-19-tests-within-a-week-of-arrival-in-the-uae/article32262546.ece

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