A week ago, the Indian Premier League (IPL) chief executive asked the players to play for “humanity” and assured them that they were “completely safe” within the scope of the tournament’s biosmember bubble. In a week, the bubble has burst, the tournament has been postponed indefinitely with the franchise and the BCCI stand to lose more than Rs 2000 crore. IPL 2021 was postponed on Tuesday due to one of the positive cases between players and employees. So, what was the reason for the violation of the bio-bubble?
Bio-bubble in the UAE for IPL 2020 was managed by Restrata, a professional company specializing in tracking devices and bio-secure solutions. This time, the IPL left locals in the hands of hospital vendors and testing laboratories, hoping to repeat the process.
Air travel was the biggest concern as IPL 2021 was to be held in six cities. NDTV has contracted COVID-19 while two players and a team coach travel from the airport terminus. The teams had demanded tarmac access from state governments, which was denied, thus putting players at risk. In the UAE, there was no air travel.
The tracking equipment worn by the players was faulty at times. They were bought from a Chennai-based company that failed to meet the standards, so the BCCI was only forced to consider where and how players could contract the dreaded virus.
Outside the bubble there was a big question on the testing and quarantine protocol of the people who were required to run the tournament. These people include ground staff, hotel staff, ground catering, net bowlers, DJs and drivers. Many cities mean a large group of people who keep changing.
Management processes were more robust in the UAE
Until last week, food distribution was allowed from outside.
The BCCI left it to each franchise to create its own bubble for players, members and employees, rather than a central agency like the IMG that manages the tournament.
Despite the rise of Kovid affairs in India, the BCCI’s top brass was scheduled to have a tournament in the country. The IPL Governing Council and the franchise had made a proposal for the UAE like last year.
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