IPL 2020: BCCI sets norms in the SOP for IPL 13; no fans, 4 tests in 2 weeks for all players

The BCCI will handover the SOP to the franchises during their meeting next week or so.

Only 15 players in dressing room, four COVID Tests in two weeks, some norms on BCCI SOPThe BCCI has prepared the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the upcoming 13th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which will be hosted in its entirety in the UAE. The league begins on September 19 onwards.

In the time of Coronavirus pandemic, which forced the IPL to be suspended since March this year, the Indian board has prepared some tough norms which will be forwarded to the franchise owners and the Emirates Cricket Board shortly.

However, much-expected ruling that can be seen are no fans in the stadium at the start of the league atleast, commentators following the six feet distance rule, only 15 players allowed in the dressing room and four COVID tests in two weeks for all players.

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While the government’s approval to move IPL-13 to the UAE is awaited, the Emirates Cricket Board has confirmed its interest in hosting the event after receiving a request from the BCCI.

A BCCI official, speaking to The Indian Express, mentioned that the SOP has to be followed not only by the franchises, players, but also the owners and wives and girlfriends of the players as well during the course of the tournament.

Once they are in the bio-bubble, no one can break it and rejoin,” the official said.

The BCCI will not decide whether WAGs and family members can travel with the players, we have left it to the franchises. But we have put out a protocol in which everyone, even team bus drivers, can’t leave the bio-bubble,” the official said.

The SOP will be handed over to the franchises once we have a meeting with them next week. If they have any grievances, they can come back to the board and we will discuss it,” he added.

As for the COVID tests, each player will undergo four COVID tests in the span of two weeks before the start of the tournament. Two tests will be held in India prior to departure and two during quarantine in the UAE.

The BCCI’s SOP has been prepared on the lines of norms set by England and Wales Cricket Board for the Test series against the West Indies and Pakistan.

In the past, players who represent India have joined the IPL teams separately but no such relaxation would be allowed this time. They will have to enter the bio-bubble along with the rest of their squad members.

UAE is keen on letting crowd in the stadium to enjoy IPL matchesSome key guidelines in the SOP are about accommodation given that most of the franchises have more than 20 players in their squad. Once they are allotted a hotel, the franchises won’t be allowed to change them.

The BCCI has already asked franchises to work out logistics and hotel arrangements, although the board will help in getting discounts during bookings. Caterers who have tested negative for the Coronavirus only will be allowed inside the hotels, dressing rooms, and other designated areas.

The SOP will also be given to the broadcaster and the match officials confirmed the BCCI official.

Though the curve is expected to flatten in the UAE by the time IPL begins and the ECB keen on letting fans enjoy the action in the stadiums, BCCI is not ready to take any chances.

We don’t want to take risks. At least for the early part of the tournament, the games will be played behind closed doors,” the official said.

As of now, the case count in the UAE is 59,921, with 53,202 recoveries.


By Jatin Sharma - 30 Jul, 2020

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