The Indian Premier League (IPL) which was indefinitely postponed due to coronavirus pandemic will now be conducted in the UAE. It is expected that the IPL franchises will soon be starting to send their respective survey teams to the UAE to check out the facilities as well as what kind of bio-secure environments that can be created for the players, staff members and everyone else involved.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is likely to hand over a comprehensive Standing Operating Procedure (SOP) to respective eight IPL franchises for the upcoming tournament in the UAE. However, there are a few mandatory questions that all stakeholders need to figure out in the coming days. Some of the franchises have questions that probably need to be addressed by the BCCI in their SOPs.
This is a tricky subject that will depend entirely on what the BCCI states in its SOPs. A senior franchise official said that keeping players away from their partners and families for two months is going to be “criminal” and that too in a sanitized environment where there is going to be less social contact during the tournament.
An official asked, “During normal times, the wives and girlfriends, at times families join the players during a specified time but this is a completely different scenario. If families travel, can they be confined to rooms without being able to move around normally?”
He further added, “There will be players who have kids aged between 3 to 5 and how do you keep them in a room for two months.”
There are also many questions where the cricket teams will stay during the course of the tournament. While top teams are used to staying in five-star hotels and having luxurious facilities but it is a difficult proposition to just rent out multiple five-star hotels just for the team where other visitors won’t be allowed.
Speaking of the team bus driver and local security, the BCCI (on foreign tours liaising with the host board) and, in this case, the franchises in coordination with the Emirates Cricket Board will usually hire local transportation, including luxury bus transporting the team to the stadiums, at any venue.
Normally the locals who drive the bus, leave home after the day’s work but they may need to be asked to stay in the bio-safe environment for two months in this case.