New Delhi: The BCCI is likely to hand over a comprehensive standing operating procedure (SOP) to the eight IPL franchises for the upcoming edition of the event. However, there are a few pressing questions that all the stakeholders including the IPL franchises need to figure out in the coming days.
It is expected that most of the franchises will send their recce teams to the UAE to check out the facilities. They will also try to find out as to what kind of bio-secure environments that can be created.
Some of the franchises have questions which probably BCCI will need to answer in their SOPs.
Regarding players’ wives and girlfriends
This is a tricky issue that will totally depend on what BCCI states in its SOPs. A senior franchise official said that it will be ‘criminal’ to keep players away from their partners and families for two months. It should be stated here that the players will stay in a sanitised environment. Hence there will be least social contact during the course of the tournament.
“During normal times, the wives and girlfriends, at times families join the players during a specified time. However, this is a completely different scenario. If families travel, can they be confined to rooms without being able to move around normally?” an official asked. “There will be players who have kids aged between three and five years. How do you keep them in a room for two months,” the official asked.
Will smaller boutique hotels or resorts work better?
Top cricket teams are used to staying in five-star facilities. However, it is a difficult proposition to just rent out multiple five star hotels just for the team. It will be a costly proposition too as the hotel won’t be allowed to take in other visitors.
A senior BCCI official, who was an integral part of 2014 IPL in Dubai, said that in the desert city, even three-star boutique hotels are as good as five-star. Also there are resorts which are easier to be rented out completely.
“Look every franchise won’t be able to match up to say Mumbai Indians, who will undoubtedly have the best set-up in these trying times. They have private jets, can even take doctors from their super speciality hospital, rent out a five-star hotel. Others need to check out what;’s best for them. May be a beach resort,” the official said.
Team Bus driver and local security officer
Normally at any venue, the BCCI (on foreign tours liaising with host board) and, in this case, the franchises in co-ordination with the Emirates Cricket Board will be hiring local transport, including luxury bus which carries the team to stadiums.
Normally, the locals who drive the bus leave for home after the day’s work. However, in this case, they might have to be asked to stay in the bio-secure environment for two months.
“If every day, they are going to go home, they are exposed to outside environment. You have to negate the risk to minimum,” a top franchise official said. The same will apply to the local security personnel who will be deployed on and off the field for the teams. A lot of franchises would ideally want them to be accommodated in hotels.
Catering staff at grounds serving players
Will there be a separate bio-bubble for the catering staff who normally serve the players during the break? They might be tested every day just like the drivers and security officers and they can also be included in the bio-secure environment.