The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is likely to have no bio-bubbles for the upcoming T20I series between India and South Africa, as per the reports.
After the conclusion of the ongoing IPL 2022, Team India are all set to lock horns with South Africa in the five-match T20I series in June this year.
The first game will be played on 9th June in Delhi followed by the second and third games on 12th and 14th June in Cuttack and Vishakhapatnam, respectively. The fourth and fifth match is slated to take place on the 17th and 19th of June in Rajkot and Bengaluru.
Cricket in the bio-secure environment has become the norm amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Many players have raised concerns over playing regularly in bio-secure bubbles as they have to face psychological challenges and troubles with living in a bio-secure environment
Currently, cricketers from both India and South Africa are in the IPL’s bio-bubble. They are slated to stay in a bio-secure environment till May 29th. However, after that, they have international assignments on the cards. And in the latest development, it is learnt that the BCCI will not have bio-bubbles for the five-T20I series, keeping in mind the mental well-being of cricketers.
Speaking to PTI on conditions of anonymity, a senior BCCI official said that there will be no bio-bubbles and hard quarantine for the upcoming home series against South Africa.
"If all goes well and things remain in control like it is right now, there will be no bio-bubbles and hard quarantine during the home series against South Africa," a source said.
After the South Africa series, India is scheduled to travel to Ireland for two T20Is on June 26 and 28, respectively before playing a postponed Test match and a white-ball series against England from 1st July to 17th July.
A source added that there won’t be any bio-bubbles for the tours of England and Ireland as well. He said that staying constantly in bubbles can affect the mental health of the players and BCCI is well aware of it.
“Then we are going to Ireland and England and there won't be any bio-bubble in those countries too. The board is aware that bubble life is not sustainable for long period as staying confined to restricted areas can severely affect the players' mental health.
"Some players have got periodic breaks but if you look at the bigger picture, living in bio-bubble one series after another and now two months of IPL is simply exhausting for the players," he said.
He concluded by saying that the management is also looking to give rest to some players for the upcoming five T20Is in June. Source added that the duration of the break will be decided by selectors and head coach Rahul Dravid.
“There are five T20 Internationals between June 9 to 19 in five cities. Obviously, all the players won't be playing all the games. Some might be given total rest and some might play a few games.
“If these guys aren't given systemic breaks, it will only harm them. But obviously, the duration of break will be decided by selectors after talking to head coach (Rahul Dravid),” he said.