MUMBAI: Absolute chaos has begun to reign in the UAE, where the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises have stationed themselves along with the operations team of the BCCI and the agencies brought on board.
While the IPL authorities have their hands full dealing with the ‘Covid mess’ that erupted in the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) camp – a development that was certainly considered possible, given the menace of the virus – the remaining franchises say, “we have not heard anything from the BCCI-IPL ever since we flew in here”.
The Covid outbreak in the CSK camp has once again ‘messed up’ with the schedule that the BCCI-IPL had been working on, and there’s a huge possibility now that “Mumbai Indians may not play the first match against Chennai Super Kings”. Given that players have tested positive, the franchise has to now quarantine (even practise in isolation) for 14 days, instead of six, and that could mean IPL could be left with no choice but to start with another team.
“It could possibly be Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) because in the first match, you’ll need star players on the field. If MS Dhoni is missing, then it has to be Virat Kohli,” say those tracking developments. While it’s not certain yet if CSK will or will not play the opening game, the governing council has to remain prepared for a switch.
Meanwhile, the teams say, they have been left to fend for their own in the UAE.
“The other day, lights went off at the practice venue when a team was training,” says one franchise representative. Another one is worried that the “team’s staff hasn’t received the FOB (tracking device) bands yet”. A third says, “We’re still trying to figure how to commute between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, considering the two Emirates have different Covid regulations”. Another franchise is not convinced with the bubble being built and says: “this is not a commodity purchase and proactive depth-data analysis is missing”.
To make matters worse, the BCCI hasn’t found the time to listen to these ‘complaints’. “What’s happening is that they (BCCI-IPL) are ‘reacting’ to things. We have to raise a question for someone to tell us ‘we will revert’. There’s no communication,” franchises say.
A team owner’s questions to BCCI:
* In a situation where a player was earlier replaced due to Covid recovers later, will the player be allowed to return to play for the same team?
* In a situation where a player contracts Covid, what rules and regulations shall apply?
* What happens if multiple players of a team test positive just before match-day?
* In case situations arise where spectators are allowed anytime during the league, how would the guidelines be changed/implemented?
* How many friends/families can owners bring to watch games?


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