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MUMBAI: UK-based safety and security operating company Restrata has secured the deal to build the bio-security bubble for the Indian Premier League (IPL) in UAE this year. Restrata, which operates out of the United Kingdom and the UAE, pipped the Tata group to secure the deal.
The company, which specialises in “covering last-mile safety, security and mobility operations”, had worked with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) during the London Games in 2014 and most recently was hired by the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to build the bio-secure bubble for the series against the West Indies and Pakistan, when cricket returned after a five-month break.

Those tracking developments said: “What worked in favour of Restrata was that it is more cost-effective than what the Tatas are offering, had past and recent expertise in handling global sports events, and has had a recent first-hand experience with cricket too”.
The BCCI has notified all franchises about the same and Restrata will work towards a central bubble inside which the IPL ecosystem will function in the UAE.
TOI understands that Tatas had quoted almost the double of what Restrata has asked for, and had submitted a detailed presentation to the BCCI, as reported earlier. A leading IPL franchise owner had referred the Tatas to the BCCI, underlining the work they have done in this space so far.
“But it doesn’t work that way. References are okay, but you’ve got to understand that this is a sporting event and past experiences are going to matter. In Restrata’s case, the company had first-hand experience in managing around 500 people who would be present at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl and Old Trafford including players, coaches, production media, stadium staff, match-officials and no spectators, of course,” those tracking developments said.

At the IPL this year, Restrata has offered to introduce track and trace technology to keep tabs on the number of people who will be working in specified zones to ensure all Covid-related health compliances and the mandatory social distancing.
“A ring in the finger or a bracelet or a chip in the accreditation card will carry a GPS device to provide the IPL authorities and franchises an accurate, real-time capability to track and trace individuals at all times or any suspected outbreaks of Covid-19 across venues, team hotels, practice facilities etc.,” say those in the know.
It is a similar tracing system that had allowed the ECB to keep track of the players, specifically Jofra Archer who had breached the bio-secure bubble ahead of the second Test against the West Indies when he visited his family.
That aside, the bio-security bubble will work towards ensuring there’s equanimity in a space that otherwise unequivocally thrives on chaos. Restrata will be responsible for drawing out a blueprint of what the bubble will entail.
A franchise will be expected to stay within the perimeters and marked floors / areas of what is pre-defined; the exit and entry points to a hotel or the stadium will be tunnelled to allow specifics of any movement; from matters related to civics and hygiene to regular testing; protocols to be laid down in hotels and stadiums; policies for family members and friends travelling with cricketers – every single detail will be underlined.
“The onus is on every single stakeholder to share the responsibility in pulling this off. It’ll be a feather in the cap of Indian sporting achievements,” say those working with the BCCI to carry out this entire operation.

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