RCB’s strict quarantine measures to adhere to COVID-19 Guidelines
Given the gravity of the COVID-19 situation and underlying concerns, the Royal Challengers Bangalore management has been working on a war footing. Understanding its responsibilities and privileges as an IPL team, the franchise has followed the quarantine guidelines set by the UAE government and the BCCI strictly.
The efforts began well before the team had assembled for a week’s quarantine in Bengaluru. The entire traveling contingent – ranging from support staff to players to the management and the in-house digital team – were asked to quarantine themselves at home well in advance. Starting the 1st week of August, three COVID-19 tests were conducted, the last one a couple of days before the team was to depart for the UAE.
How the team organized a chartered flight with strict social distancing measures in place is now out in public domain.
While the UAE has seen comparatively a smaller number of cases and the businesses have started to open in the country, the team did not leave a stone unturned to follow the regulations set in place once they landed on 21st August.
A test on landing and then two more in the next six days to come in the same the designated facility at the hotel – the process seemed banal but was followed like a war-time advisory.
Having booked dedicated facilities, ranging from the swimming pool to the beach to the game room, the management has ensured that the bio bubble is not a dome of boredom but a place of regular activities to keep players occupied and mentally in a good shape. They have also got a sports psychologist on board who is traveling with the team.
The heat of Dubai where the team is camped is unbearable keeping the organizers on their toes. However, enough effort has gone into ensuring that the team continues to stick to the guidelines without being coerced into doing it.
The team has started practicing at the ICC Academy and the sessions are organized in batches under the supervision of the support staff. Two separate buses take the players and other members required to keep things running to the training facility. Even at the practice, only those involved with the game -the players and the support staff - are allowed to take off the mask. The management has made it clear to all the other members that the mask is to be worn at all times, irrespective of the distance between the individual and the group. You might be sitting in a corner at the training venue, but does not spare you from having a mask on your face.
Separate food boxes for the personnel during training, individual water bottles, no sharing of cricketing gears or any other personal belongings, minimal interaction with the teammates – it’s mostly done during the team meetings – and almost 0 to few in-house media commitments scattered through the day, the focus has remained on cricket while realizing how only responsibilities are to be shared and nothing else!
The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League is set to begin from the 19th of September after what seemed like a wait for ages. While the team is getting ready to ensure their work appears to be seamless on the ground, the management, support staff and the entire contingent have their own little battles to manage. And so far, they all have been Playing Bold!