- IPL 2020 will not see at least these 10 things happen
- The SOP issued by the BCCI and IPL Council has been provided to ECB and IPL franchises
- The 13th edition of IPL will start from 19th September
When the Indian Premier League moved to the United Aram Emirates (UAE) this year amidst the COVID-19, the tournament will not be the same for players and even the viewers.
The IPL will start to sanitise the empty stands and the players will stay in the bio-secure bubbles as per the draft of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) which the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has shared with the eight franchises of the tournament.
Let us take a look at the 10 things in IPL 2020 which will be missing
1. In the 13th edition of the IPL, we could see the support staff and players in the stands which are adjoining the dressing room. This will be done to ensure that social distancing is followed.
SOP: It is important for players and staff to socially distance while in the dressing room. 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.
2. People who have been fans of the IPL franchise know that the owners of the teams often interact, strategise and even celebrate with their players. Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta would often come to the field and mingle with their players, but this, too, will not happen unless they decide to stay with them in the team bubble. Even the owners will not be exempted and will have to go into quarantine upon breaking any rule.
SOP: Any franchise team owner 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.
If the franchise team owners are not a part of the Bio-Secure Environment created for the players and team support staff, we recommend that video and remote conference call technology be used for interaction between team owners and members of the team within the Bio-Security Environment.
If the franchise team owners are not a part of the Bio-Secure Environment, they are not permitted to travel on the same vehicle carrying players and team support staff to the venues for training and matches.
3. Remember how the captains would come out and interact with the pitch curators on the nature of wicket they are looking for on a home match? Well, that, too, will not happen. The ground staff will not be at the ground when the players will train. More importantly, there will be no home advantage as teams will not have a home base.
SOP: The ground staff will prepare the ground and the wickets outside of the team training sessions.
4. Are you following the Tests in England? Well, if yes then you may be acquainted with the new protocols at the toss: cricketers holding the microphones and talking into the camera.
You will not see the team captains walking out with team sheets. No sponsor mascots — a common sight at IPL — on the field either. However, as it involves revenues, we could see a recorded version of the mascot at work.
SOP: At the toss, electronic team sheets should be considered. No mascots should be present. Social distancing should be maintained. There should be no handshakes. Television camera operators must maintain their distance.
5. Shaking hands and press conferences with rooms full of reporters and journalists will be a big no-no this IPL. The media conference will happen, but will take place remotely with the media in their separate bubbles.
SOP: No handshakes or any contact between teams. Minimal on-field media may be present for post-match presentations, but technology may allow remote interviewing.
6. If the franchises allow, the players can be with their families, however, given the severity of the situation and the restrictions in the bubble, there would be only a few player-kids at the games. Generally, MS Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh, Suresh Raina and some others are accompanied by their families during their IPL matches.
SOP: 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.
7. The physios and masseurs will be wearing a full COVID-19 warrior kit aka the PPE kits. They will have to wear it at all time during the treatment.
SOP: The Team Doctor, Team Physiotherapist, Masseur and the venue medical team should socially distance but if assessment and treatment of a player are deemed essential and involves physical contact or distancing of fewer than two metres, then the medical personnel should wear PPE. Eyewear and a facemask must be used for the whole session.
8. Players will not be allowed to play the hero and go out on the pitch if they are battling a fever. We all remember the innings at Lords in 2011 when Sachin Tendulkar was chasing his 100th ton while battling a fever. A player with a fever, now, will have to self-isolate.
SOP: A player would only be permitted to train or play a match if they had a normal temperature and health status questionnaire. If they did not, they would be subject to COVID-19 testing and would have to self-isolate.
9. Batsmen using the bat of their teammates has been a common thing in the past, but no longer. The motto “sharing is caring” will not be used at a time like this.
SOP: Players and staff should only use their own equipment and there should be no sharing.
10. This is not a confirmed thing, however, follows a high probability. The IPL may see no crowd during the matches as listed in the guidelines, however, a ray of hope is that it could changes on the medical advice.
The UAE government and authorities, if they deem it safe to allow a limited number of fans in. So, players won’t be able to feed off the crowd atmosphere this time.
SOP: BCCI is working with numerous agencies including the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), UAE authorities, medical experts, among others to look at conducting IPL 2020 behind closed doors.
These guidelines may be amended from time to time as may be required depending on the existing COVID-19 situation in the country and the guidelines issued by the local health agencies and Government at appropriate times.