Ness Wadia Has Called For Regular COVID Testing Of Players:
Ness Wadia, one of Kings XI Punjab’s co-owners, wants to test players and support staff on a regular basis in the UAE, where IPL 2020 will be played between September 19 and November 10.
“I would like as much research as possible and ideally on a regular basis,” Wadia told the Indian Press Trust. “If I were a cricketer, I ‘d be very pleased to get screened every day. There’s no harm in it.”
“Strict safety procedures must be placed in place for both off-site and on-site operations to make IPL secure and effective. They should not be violated at all.”
Currently, in order to travel to the UAE, a passenger must test negative before flying and take another test after landing, with entry allowed without a quarantine period, if both tests return negative. A quarantine period is mandatory only for those arriving in the country without prior testing.
The logistical factor of handling eight people, three locations and commuting to the grounds and training facilities from their hotels presents a dynamic challenge in ensuring a bio-secure bubble that Wadia hoped would not be breached.
“Bio-security is something that needs to be taken very seriously, but you don’t know if it can be applied in an eight-team tournament,” Wadia said. “We ‘re waiting for the BCCI SOPs.
“The UAE also has a very high test rate (472.575 per million) and they have all the technology at their disposal. The BCCI will need the help of the local government to ensure that adequate testing is carried out.”
The UAE hosted part of the IPL, with 20 matches taking place in the country at the start of the 2014 season due to the general election of India at the time.
Wadia also hoped that the BCCI would reward both teams equally if the game was played in front of empty stands. Teams are currently receiving a portion of their income from gate receipts.
“The IPL would add much needed hope to the pessimism that we are living in today. Credit to the BCCI to find a crack in the present scenario,” he said. “I hope the BCCI will look to pay all teams (in case there is no gate money involved).”