Ness Wadia, one of the co-owners of Kings XI Punjab, wants daily covid testing for players and support staff in the UAE, where IPL 2020 will be played between September 19 and November 10.
“I would want as much testing as possible and preferably daily,” Wadia told Press Trust of India. “If I was a cricketer, I would be very happy in getting myself tested everyday. There is no harm in it.”
“Strict safety protocols have to be put in place both for off-field and on-field activities to make the IPL safe and successful. They should not be compromised at all.”
Currently, to travel to UAE, a passenger needs to test negative before flying and take another test upon landing, with entry permitted without a quarantine period should both tests return negative. A quarantine period is mandatory only for those landing in the country without prior testing.
The logistical aspect of managing eight teams, three venues and their travel to the grounds and training facilities from their hotels poses a complex challenge in providing a bio-secure bubble, which Wadia hoped wouldn’t be compromised.
“Bio-security is something that should be very seriously considered but don’t know if it can be implemented in an eight-team tournament,” Wadia said. “We are waiting for the SOPs from the BCCI.
“UAE also has a very high testing rate (472,575 per million) and they have all the technology at their disposal. The BCCI will need the help of the local government in ensuring adequate testing is done.”
The UAE has been host to part of the IPL, with 20 matches taking place in the country at the start of the 2014 season, due to India’s general elections taking place at the time.
Wadia also hoped that the BCCI would compensate all teams suitably if the tournament is played in front of empty stands. Currently, teams earn a portion of their revenue from gate receipts.
“The IPL will bring much needed optimism to the pessimism we live in today. Credit to the BCCI to have a found a window in the current scenario,” he said. “I do hope that the BCCI will look at compensating all teams (in case there is no gate money involved).”