The thirteenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) is all set to be hosted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from the 19th of September.
However, the logistics pertaining to this season will be markedly different as compared to the previous years. Numerous safety measures will be put into place this time around due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has wreaked havoc with the IPL 2020 schedules and venues.
The IPL 2020 franchises have been issued a gargantuan list of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to which they have to strictly adhere. These SOPs disclose the various precautions that need to be taken during the 53-day tournament to alleviate the threat posed by COVID-19.
Without further ado, let us take a look at the entire list of SOPs that are to be followed by the eight teams during the course of the grand extravaganza that will be IPL 2020:
IPL 2020 safety protocols
1.The players and support staff were quarantined for 7-14 days in India. Before travelling to the UAE, each person was compulsorily tested every three days.
2.Teams will be on a 14-day quarantine in Abu Dhabi, and a 6-day quarantine in Dubai.
3.All players and staff were given flu shots before travelling.
4.As per the protocols by the governments both the countries, Arogya Setu and an app called ALHOSN were downloaded and filled out compulsorily.
5.Every accompanying family member is expected to follow the quarantine protocol and live with the team for the duration of the tournament. Once in the bio-secure bubble, no one will be allowed to step out beyond designated areas that are sanitised and created as part of the bubble.
6.For security check, the main check-in luggage was sent in advance a night prior. The hand luggage was cling wrapped from the hotel and players and support staff were asked to transfer all their electronics and important documents to a laundry bag with their name tags and carry it in their hand.
7.They were given two Hazmat kits for travel to be worn from the hotel. They were also advised not to eat, drink, touch, shop at duty-free or use public restrooms till the flight.
8.The IPL 2020 teams used a charter flight and the staff on board was tested at least twice before their scheduled flight. The staff was wearing PPE kits and no food or beverages were served throughout.
9.Sandwiches and water on the flight were packed by teams in advance and served by the team staff.
10.On landing, everyone was tested for COVID-19 at the airport and will be tested every three days from hereon till Nov 12th.
11.Room key cards were given in the bus before arrival at the hotel. Each bag entering the hotel premises was spray sanitised.
12.All laundry bags, masks, Hazmat kits, gloves etc to be thrown before entering the hotel.
13.As soon as everyone reached the room, the laundry was collected in 20 minutes. Each person took a shower and gave out laundry to ensure the clothes from outside didn’t touch anything else.
14.During the 6/14 days of government quarantine, no housekeeping, no in-room servicing will be provided. In the room, there is a QR Code for menu and beverages. Orders can be placed on the phone and they will be delivered in disposable plates. There is a fixed set of 30-40 items in a-la-carte and 15-20 breakfast items to choose from in the 24/7 room service.
15.Outside the room, in the lobby, there are extra supplies of towel, toiletries, water and so on but housekeeping can deliver these too.
16.All staff serving the IPL 2020 teams will be wearing masks and gloves. They will also be tested every three days and will not leave the hotel for three months. They will not serve other guests and will remain in the team bubble/team's side of the hotel kitchen only.
17.Wings have been cordoned off for IPL 2020 players to make them feel at home. There will be a team room with games for de-stressing.
18.There is 24/7 CCTV monitoring to ensure no movement from room to room during the quarantine.
19.Based on the BCCI protocol, the IPL 2020 teams will start training 15-20 days prior to the tournament during which the teams will get tested and their equipment will be sanitised at the hotel as well as the stadium. There will be no storage available at the stadiums. Players will come, train and leave.
20.Once the training starts, the IPL 2020 teams will have one DNA person outside the bubble. In case they need anything, they can come to the hotel, get sanitised and then deliver the parcel.
21.A tailor, barber and other amenities will be part of the bubble.
22.As for sponsor shoots, IPL 2020 teams will hire a local crew director, production, makeup and other staff who will be part of the bubble. However, each brand can have an additional director who will guide the team on various aspects of the shoot. All post-production will be done by the brand. The crew will shoot only on croma background. Each sponsor has been individually updated regarding revised rights and certain carry-forwards for multiple year deals.
23.Local brands, vendors for water, drinks, buses and other transport etc. were sought and explained the testing, sanitisation process and how they will need to adhere.
24.An Oura Ring as seen in the NBA, English cricket, football etc will be provided to all in the bubble, allowing the medical staff in the bubble to track the slightest symptoms online as and when they show up. All IPL 2020 players and support staff will be encouraged to focus on online team meetings. This would help in maintaining social distancing. Large gatherings or huddles will be strictly avoided.
25.Some IPL 2020 franchises have developed internal groups and apps to monitor the movements the teams. This will help in maintaining the bio-bubble.
26.There will be regular use of hand sanitisers. In case anyone shows any symptoms, he needs to alert all the team members and immediately self isolate. The person will then undergo the COVID-19 test.
27.In case of an accidental bubble breach, the IPL 2020 players and support staff would be put in isolation for a week and must clear multiple COVID-19 tests before being allowed back in. If there is a breach of bio-bubble and if it’s a wilful act then it will be treated as a contractual issue between the player and the franchises and will be dealt with very seriously.
28.Some IPL 2020 franchises insist that in team buses, only one person is allowed to sit in every row. This will be done to maintain social distancing.
29. The visa and travel insurance of the IPL 2020 travelling members have been done by the team in advance.Published 26 Aug 2020, 21:07 IST