IPL franchises begin quarantining and testing for Covid-19

The IPL has laid out a stringent week-long quarantine process for teams before they can start training in the UAE PTI

A day after a few of the IPL owners had a meeting internally to discuss the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) draft sent by the tournament's governing council, it appears that the teams have begun activating their own protocols prior to departure to the UAE for IPL 2020.

Mumbai Indians have started quarantining their Indian players in a hotel, with regular Covid-19 tests scheduled. Players who complete their quarantine will then be allowed to train at their facility in Navi Mumbai.

Rajasthan Royals too plan to conduct Covid-19 tests for their players and support staff over the next two weeks, prior to their departure to Dubai. Another franchise has asked their Indian players to home quarantine - as a precaution - while simultaneously initiating Covid-19 tests.

"Outdoor training is out of question still, we're being cautious and since everything is still very uncertain with regards to SOPs, we're awaiting a final confirmation," a franchise source said. "We have put forward our concerns with the IPL governing council, hopefully everything will be clear this weekend so that we can start planning."

Currently the IPL has laid out a stringent week-long quarantine process, along with four Covid-19 tests for players and support staff, before they can start training in the UAE. ESPNcricinfo understands that a number of franchises have sought a reduction in this quarantine period upon entering the biosecure bubble in the UAE.

While the IPL schedule hasn't been announced yet, Sunrisers Hyderabad, for example, could potentially lose David Warner and Jonny Bairstow for the first two matches if they are to undergo the mandatory seven-day quarantine. Royal Challengers could miss Aaron Finch and Moeen Ali for similar reasons.

All the four players would likely be arriving in the UAE from the United Kingdom following the conclusion of the T20I series between England and Australia on September 15, four days prior to the start of the IPL season.

Meanwhile, the IPL has also put in place stringent measures for ad shoots and promotional activities involving players. Players are required to have a 10-day gap between their shoots and their departure to the UAE.

The shoots can only be scheduled at ballrooms of a five-star hotel, in order to maintain social distancing norms, with a strict cap of five crew members allowed at the location of the shoot with Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to prevent any physical contact.

The franchises are expected to meet the IPL governing council on Friday through video conference, while awaiting the finalised SOPs, which has delayed the departure of a number of teams.

Chennai Super Kings, for example, were looking at arriving in the UAE in the second week of August. That move stands cancelled because of the absence of a formal SOP. However, they have sent out a note to their Indian players to start arriving in Chennai once the IPL circulates the SOP.

Meanwhile, Kolkata Knight Riders are looking at having Abu Dhabi as their base from August 21 or 22, with the overseas contingent of Brendon McCullum, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell joining the team from the Caribbean after their CPL commitments end by September 10.

Kings XI Punjab too are looking at assembling their Indian squad together, before flying out to the UAE.