With BCCI planning to host IPL 2020 in UAE from September, franchises have started their preparation, from selecting hotels to booking chartered planes for travels.
With the increasing number of coronavirus cases in India, BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) is likely to host IPL 2020 in UAE as discussed in the BCCI Apex Council meeting on Friday.
The BCCI has zeroed in on September-November window for the IPL 2020 but for that; the ICC needs to announce the cancellation of the T20 World Cup, scheduled in Australia in October-November. The announcement can come as early as next week when the ICC Board meets on Monday.
News agency spoke to a couple of IPL officials, who said that they had started preparation based on the inputs given. One franchise is planning to hire chartered planes for the travels of players and staff.
“You need to be smart and plan early. We have been given the required inputs and are planning accordingly. We have decided on the hotel we wish to stay at in Abu Dhabi and how we will go through flying in and going through the quarantine period once in UAE. We will need to brush up with the then health guidelines of the country,” first franchise official said.
Another franchise official said that they are planning to assemble in India and go through the isolation period before travelling to the UAE.
“We are looking at having the boys come together in India. Go through a period of spending time in a bio-secure environment and then get our tests done and head to UAE,” the offical said.
The officials also added to that home isolation is needed so that if anyone is asymptomatic, there is a risk of infecting others.
“The reason behind that is we are all staying at home. So, if one of us is asymptomatic, we have the risk of infecting others. That is why it is better to go through two weeks of isolation and testing here in the country before heading out,” the official explained.
With the travel bans around the globe, franchises are hiring chartered planes for the travel.
“I think most teams, if not all, are already looking at hiring chartered planes. You never know if we will have regular flights operating by the end of August and most teams would wish to be in the UAE by the last week of August or at max the first week of September. So, in such a scenario, the best way is to hire chartered planes as we will all have around 35-40 people flying to UAE. The number of members increases a bit when you are headed outside and have restrictions in movement in times like these,” the official pointed.
While another franchise official differed from the other two and like to prefer the first-class travel rather than chartered planes but also pointed out that chartered flights will be only options if regular flights don’t operate. Also, they are planning to meet foreign players in UAE rather assembling in India.
“To be honest, if you ask me, we as a franchise are looking at first-class travel for our players as that means better distancing. The sole reason is that we might not be assembling in India and be directly heading to UAE from each of our homes after doing necessary COVID-19-related tests. So, in such a scenario, you cannot expect the owners to pay for 8-10 chartered trips. But yes, if normal flights don’t start operating then it is a different scenario,” the official said.
“We have been having our calls and discussions on how we are all planning the logistics and stuff and I can assure you almost all of us think that foreign players will meet the teams directly in UAE as that makes more sense. Imagine someone first coming to India, spending 10-14 days in quarantine over here and then again heading to UAE and going through their quarantine process. The foreigners are likely to join in directly unless some franchises change any plan in the eleventh hour,” the official said.