IPL 2020 SOPs: No customary handshakes, electronic team sheets in BCCI guidelines for matchdays

IPL 2020 SOPs: No customary handshakes, electronic team sheets in BCCI guidelines for matchdays

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has shared with all 8 franchises the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, scheduled to be held in the UAE from September 19 to November 10. Among other things, the health and safety protocols also address the dos and don’ts for players and support staff on matchdays.

The BCCI SOP for IPL 2020, a 16-page document sent to the franchises, has in detail guidelines to ensure the safety and health of all stakeholders during the tournament. It also talks in detail about the training and matchday routines which will be the new normal in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

While players and team support staff need to undergo at least 5 mandatory Covid-19 PCR tests before even entering the bio-secure environment in the UAE and undergo a test every 5th day during the tournament, they also have to undergo daily temperature checks and answer health questionnaires. Every team has been directed to have a medical team that will take care of the daily routines.

According to the matchday SOPs, players will be allowed to train and compete only if they have a ‘normal temperature and health status questionnaire’. If they do not, he or she will be subjected to the Covid-19 test.

“Players should arrive at the training venue dressed in their training kit to ensure time in the dressing room is minimized. Cricket kit should be fully packed away after training and stored in a room at the ground that is subject to regular cleaning,” the BCCI SOP reads.

The BCCI will follow ICC guidelines for handling cricket balls during IPL in the wake of the pandemic. As per ICC protocols, players can’t apply saliva on the ball.

Among the major guidelines for matchdays, face masks need to be worn by players and support staff at all times outside the player and match officials area. Players can sit in the dugouts but in designated seats which are ‘widely separated’.

Toss and drinks break guidelines

The BCCI advises players and support staff to maintain social distancing even on the field of play. At the toss, electronic team sheets will be handed instead of captains exchanging printed sheets.

12th man and plates will wash their hands before and after the drinks break while players use ‘named drink bottles and towels’ to avoid sharing.

Post-match routines are going to look different as well. There is no customary handshake allowed between teams after the match while players and support staff have been advised against taking showers at the stadiums.