Updated: August 10, 2021 3:38:30 pm
The Indian Premier League (IPL) has decided to alter a few rules for the remainder of the 2021 season, to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from next month. In the health and safety protocols released by the Indian board to all IPL teams, of which The Indian Express has a copy, the BCCI has decided that cricket balls will be replaced by the fourth umpire if it goes in the stands or outside the stadium.
“If the cricket ball goes in the stands or outside the stadium, the fourth umpire will provide a replacement from the library of cricket balls. The previous ball when returned will be sanitized with alcohol-based wipes and/or UV-C by the fourth umpire and placed in the library,” the circular reads.
According to the BCCI, a new scientific study of cricket balls revealed that the risk of transmission of the coronavirus through the balls is very low. However, it is understood, the board doesn’t want to take any chance in completing the concluding part of IPL season which was suspended in May after few players and support staff tested positive. It is also learnt that the board is also contemplating allowing fans inside the stadium, but spectators will only be allowed to sit in the upper tier of the stadium.
The BCCI has also made it clear that spitting and releasing nasal/respiratory secretions on the ground or at any place other than washrooms is prohibited.
“Members doing so must discard the soiled tissue paper securely in the provided dustbins,” the circular adds.
The players and support staff will have to undergo six days of isolation, along with three negative tests, before entering the bio-bubble. Meanwhile, the Indian players who are currently playing in England will not have to undergo a quarantine period in Dubai if they fulfil a few guidelines for a ‘bubble to bubble’ transfer.
As per the circular, after the conclusion of India’s tour of England, South Africa’s tour of Sri Lanka, and the Caribbean Premier League, players, team support staff, commentators and broadcast crews will continue to remain in their respective Bio-Secure Environments and will be transported in the team bus straight to the aircraft – they are exempted from immigration and other formalities at the departing airport.
“The team bus drops the players straight on to the tarmac thereby avoiding the need for players to pass through the airport terminal building (and thus) preventing contact with other people outside the Bio-Secure Environment,” it further reads.
Players will be allowed to visit a golf course but the BCCI has kept certain conditions for it too. The teams have to seek permission from the IPL chief medical officer 24 hours prior. The entire golf range or a part of it will be booked for the sole use by the IPL participants on any given day. No other guests will be permitted within these designated areas.
“Use of any other facility at the Golf Club viz. bars, restaurants, cafes, gymnasium, etc., is prohibited. Use of locker rooms at the Golf Club is prohibited. IPL participants must arrive at the Golf Club wearing their Golf apparel to avoid use of locker rooms for changing. Shower facilities at the Golf Club must not be used,” the circular continues.
Meanwhile, for substitute players carrying drinks, they need to keep the drinks holder on the field and all players can only use their own pre-designated bottles to avoid sharing.
In case of pitch invasion during a match or practice session, if any spectator or fan manages to enter the field of play and momentarily come in physical contact with a player, the player must change his clothes and put away the used ones in a separate bag for disinfection and laundry. Also, the player must wash his hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds before meeting other team members in the bubble.