No fans and 4 tests in two weeks for players as IPL 2020 gears up for commencement

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Jul 30, 2020, 04.58 PM(IST)

Indian Premier League Photograph:( Twitter )

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There will be no fans allowed inside the stadiums, in the beginning of much-awaited Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 with the commentators sitting six feet apart in studios. Dugouts will be less crowded with not more than 15 players in the dressing room.

There will be no fans allowed inside the stadiums, in the beginning of much-awaited Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 with the commentators sitting six feet apart in studios. Dugouts will be less crowded with not more than 15 players in the dressing room.

Even the post-match ceremonies will be done keeping social distancing norms in mind with four COVID-19 tests in two weeks for all the players, as per some of the key guidelines in the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) prepared by the BCCI, that will be soon sent to all the IPL franchises for the cash-rich tournament, set to be held in the UAE from September to November.

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While the BCCI is still awaiting government’s approval to shift IPL 2020 to the UAE, Emirates Cricket Board has confirmed that it will be hosting the event after receiving the request from the Indian board.

As per a report in The Indian Express, a BCCI official has said that not just the players, their wives and girlfriends (WAGs) and franchise owners will have to follow all the norms for the ‘bio-bubble’ that will be created for IPL 2020. 

“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.”

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Two COVID-19 tests will be conducted on players in India prior to their departure and two during quarantine period in the UAE. The SOPs have been created on the lines of the England and Wales Cricket Board for the Test series against the WIndies.

All the players will need to enter the bio-bubble together.  Even the teams won’t be permitted to change hotels once they are allotted.

Franchises will have to work out the logistics and hotel arrangements with the board helping them to get discounts during bookings. The BCCI will hand over SOPs to broadcasters and match officials, as well.

“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.