COVID-19 Cases In The CSK Could Have Hit Eight Franchises-Wadia
Kings XI Punjab co-owner Ness Wadia said on Thursday the COVID-19 positive cases in the Chennai Super Kings contingent could have reached any of the eight franchises and wants only those people in the IPL bio-bubble who are “really needed” to be with the team. Thirteen members of the CSK team, including two players, tested positive for the virus last week, creating safety fears for the UAE tournament in the midst of the pandemic.
“The CSK incident has taught us that it can happen to anybody even though the best measures are taken and thus we need to be more strict and stringent about the bio-bubble protocols. We need to ensure that only those who really need to be with the players are part of the bubble,” Wadia told the leading sports website.
Non-player and non-coaching franchisees include squad operations manager and social media experts. Cricket players are also expected to spend time with marketing workers during photo shoots that will be conducted closer to the IPL starting on September 19.
CEOs and members, most of whom have not yet entered the UAE, are also permitted to join the bio-bubble, but any SOP breach would result in a seven-day quarantine. “The amount of personnel outside the teams and their support staff and match officials should be reduced to the absolute minimum,” says the BCCI SOP.
When asked if he’d fly to the tournament, Wadia said, “I haven’t finalized my plans, but I don’t usually have a lot of contact with the players. I’ve talked to Anil Kumble (head coach) twice so far just to check what’s going on. “I am very comfortable interacting on Zoom and other (online communication platforms) platforms.”
Wadia claimed that there is little to worry about as a result of changes at CSK, as promising cases have already been reported in major European Football League resumption competitions.
And NBA players have been tested positive. “The BCCI has established globally defined guidelines. If you look at football leagues, there have been incidents at the beginning and the most steps have been taken. There are so many factors (in the current situation).
“I don’t think people need to worry about it. Things will get better and easier as we move forward,” Wadia said. Teams will have to cope with a financial hit as their share of BCCI ‘s central revenue pool is reduced after the new title sponsor Dream11 has paid half (Rs 222 crore) of what Vivo has paid.
Teams would also lose money at the gate, with the competition being held overseas and in front of empty stadiums. Delhi Capitals Chairman Parth Jindal expected a 30% decrease in team revenues if the BCCI does not reward them.
Wadia said that his team, too, was seeking compensation from the Board, but he also chose to look at the brighter side. “Every problem is a chance for someone else. So now everyone (potential sponsors) is trying to take advantage of the situation.
“We do hope that BCCI will compensate in some way or form, whether this year or next year for the hit we ‘re taking, but I’d rather look at glass half full than half empty. At least, the IPL is going to happen after all that we’ve gone through this year,” Wadia added.