From team hotels to guidelines for families - Key takeaways from IPL 2020 SOPs

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Aug 05, 2020, 09.49 PM(IST) Written By: Subhayan Chakraborty

IPL Logo (Twiteer/ @IPL) Photograph:( Twitter )

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has issued a strict 16-page Standard Operating Protocol (SOP), in possession of WION, to the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises that need to be followed by everyone involved in the cash-rich tournament, scheduled to be held from September 19 to November 10 in the UAE, subject to Indian government clearance.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has issued a strict 16-page Standard Operating Protocol (SOP), in possession of WION, to the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises that need to be followed by everyone involved in the cash-rich tournament, scheduled to be held from September 19 to November 10 in the UAE, subject to Indian government clearance.

Regular testing and ban on the usage of saliva comes automatically into the scenario to curb the spread of COVID-19. Separate hotels for franchises and social distancing norms in dressing room will be a commonality throughout the course of IPL 2020. Interestingly, the BCCI has gone paper-less and introduced electronic team sheets while recommending virtual team meetings. 

All the franchises in IPL have been asked to appoint a team doctor, who will ensure bio-secure guidelines in the 13th edition of the tournament. The medical team will also be responsible for obtaining a complete medical travel history (since March 2020) of all the players and staff involved in the tournament. 

Interestingly, families have not been banned from travelling to the UAE but everyone will need to follow the protocols in place for players and staff.

Breach of any Bio-Secure Environment protocols by players and team support staff will be punishable under the IPL Code of Conduct Rules.

Key takeaways from BCCI issued SOPs for IPL 2020:

The Bio-Secure Environment measures will be in place throughout the IPL 2020 season and cover the following environments:

• Hotels • Training sessions • Matches • Transportation

The stadium Bio-Secure Environment will be divided into the following zones:

• Zone 1 – Players and Match Official Area (PMOA) and Field of Play (FOP)

• Zone 2 – Inner Zone – All operational areas within the stadium complex

• Zone 3 – Outer Zone – The area outside the stadium complex but within the boundary walls

Preparation

a. All franchises should appoint a Team Doctor who will be responsible for ensuring that the Bio-Secure Environment medical guidelines are implemented within the team for the entire duration of IPL 2020 season.

b. The franchise medical team should obtain a complete medical and travel history (since 1st March 2020) of all players and team support staff at least 2 weeks before the scheduled departure to UAE. This will be done via an online questionnaire along with a daily temperature logging and symptom checker going live 2 weeks before the team’s assembly.

c. Wearing a triple layered mask in public places is mandatory for all players and team support staff.

d. Consider using chartered flights from India to UAE for the players and team support staff. Follow seat spacing and social distancing protocols on the flight.

e. All passengers arriving at UAE airports are required to carry a negative COVID-19 PCR test report issued no more than 96 hours before arrival in the UAE. Additionally, all inbound

Hotel

a. All franchise teams will be put up in different hotels.

b. The franchise team members must respect and follow the protocols of Bio-Security Environment to maintain its sanctity.

c. Team members must be allotted rooms in a separate wing of the hotel that has a separate centralised air conditioning (AC) unit than the rest of the hotel.

d. Hotel rooms must be serviced prior to players and staff occupying them.

e. After the third negative test, team members may be allowed to meet each other within the Bio-Secure Environment. However, wearing a face mask and social distancing protocols must be followed at all times.

f. Food should be ordered in the individual rooms and use of common dining areas should be avoided to prevent cross infection and coming in contact with other hotel guests.

Dressing Room

a. It is important for players and staff to socially distance while in the dressing room.

b. The Bio-Secure Environment means only essential staff will be on site and no members of the public will be allowed. Therefore there will be more vacant areas at the stadium and hence the dressing room does not have to remain within the traditional area.

c. Venue Cricket Operation teams should consider using appropriate areas beyond the normal dressing room.

d. Hand hygiene is important, and all should have access to hand sanitiser and / or soap and water.

e. Hand touch sites should be identified and cleaned on a regular basis.

f. The dressing room, or rooms, should be appropriately deep cleaned regularly.

g. Where available, Scalene Hypercharge Corona Canon (Shycocan), a device that has the ability to neutralise 99.9% of the coronavirus that might be floating in the air in closed spaces, will be installed.

MATCH DAYS

i. On the day of the match

• All players and staff should have completed their daily questionnaire and had a temperature check.

• Players and staff should walk to the Player and Match Officials Area (PMOA) via the designated one-way route from the drop off point.

• All should arrive changed ready to warm up.

ii. On arrival in PMOA

• Everyone must wash their hands

• Everyone should have a facemask indoors within the PMOA

iii. Match day warm up

• Social distancing should be maintained from individuals outside of the Team Bio-Secure Environment, e.g. ground staff, venue operations team, broadcast team, etc.

• Players should use their own named equipment, e.g. TheraBands, where possible.

• If using communal equipment (e.g. a medicine ball), the equipment should be wiped clean before and after use.

• Regular hand washing should be performed by all.

iv. Match day warm up

- Fielding

• No facemasks need to be worn on field.

• Regular hand washing should be performed by all after each drill.

• Players should avoid touching their face.

• Hand sanitisation must occur for everyone involved after all pre-match activity has ended

Franchise team owners wishing to accompany players and team support staff will have to follow the same Bio-Secure Environment protocols as mentioned above, including:

i. Testing protocols.

ii. Social distancing protocols with players, their families and team support staff.

iii. Wear a facemask while interacting with players, their families and team support staff.

iv. Hand hygiene.

v. Respiratory etiquettes.

vi. Not permitted to meet anyone outside the Bio-Secure Environment

vii. Sharing of food & drinks to be avoided.

• FAMILIES OF PLAYERS AND TEAM SUPPORT STAFF

 Families wishing to accompany players and team support staff will have to follow the
same Bio-Secure Environment protocols as mentioned above, including:

  • Testing protocols.
  • Social distancing protocols with other players, other families and team support staff.
  • Wear a facemask while interacting with other players, other families and team support staff.
  • Hand hygiene.
  • Respiratory etiquettes.
  • Not permitted to meet anyone outside the Bio-Secure Environment
  • xiv. Sharing of food & drinks to be avoided.
  • Families are not permitted to travel on the same vehicle carrying players and team support staff to the venues for training and matches.
  • Families are not permitted to enter the PMOA and field of play at any time during training and matches.
  • Any family member who breaches the Bio-Secure protocols will have to quarantine for 7 days and return two negative PCR tests on Day 6 and Day 7, to be allowed to re-enter the Bio-Secure Environment