13th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to be played in the UAE from September 19 to November 10. The league was earlier scheduled to take place in March but got postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak across the globe. To keep the rise in cases in mind, the league has shifted to the UAE as well.
To stay in the UAE, some of the franchises are searching for resorts instead of five-star hotels for their players and support staff, according to the Times of India. While Sunrisers Hyderabad are eyeing for golf resorts, defending champions Mumbai Indians could rent an entire apartment complex to housekeep their players safely. On the other hand, Kolkata Knight Riders could be based out of Abu Dhabi rather than Dubai.
However, few franchises believe that resorts are safer amid this situation as there is the fear of COVID-19 spreading through shared AC ducts in hotels as well. Meanwhile, the Board of Control for Cricket in India is yet to share the SOP for the IPL but it had shared a 100-page SOP for the resumption of cricket.
“If staying at a hotel, the players should be isolated from the rest of the hotel guests by segregating them in a separate block or particular floors. The players should be kept in single-occupancy rooms. Hotel should be close to the ground where the camp is to be conducted,” it had read.
Moreover, PTI has earlier reported that Indian players and support staff will have to be negative for COVID-19 at least five times before they start their training in the UAE for the IPL and they will be tested every fifth day during the tournament, as per the draft prepared by the board.
Moreover, the players and support staff will have to go through COVID tests on day 1, day 3 and day 6 of their quarantine in there and after clearing that, they will have to go through tests every fifth day during the entire league.
“All overseas players and support staff also need to undergo two COVID-19 RT-PCR tests before flying in to the UAE and can only fly if the tests are negative. If not, then the same 14-day quarantine period and two negative tests to be able to fly to the UAE,” PTI quoted a BCCI official as saying.