The Board of Control for Crciket in India is forming a Covid-19 task force and it will include, among others, former India captain and National Cricket Academy chief Rahul Dravid, the cricket board said in the Standard Operating Procedure issued to state associations.
Players will have to sign a consent form before resuming training at their respective centres as per the SOP, which bars anyone above 60 years of age and individuals with underlying medical conditions from being part of the camp.
For resumption of training at the NCA in Bengaluru, the Covid-19 task force will include Dravid along with a medical officer, a hygiene officer and BCCI AGM, Cricket Operations.
Their responsibilities will include communicating “clearly and regularly with the players, explaining measures being taken to manage risk, and the advice being given to individuals to follow the same and update of Covid-19 cases to relevant higher management”.
Like the players at their respective state centres, cricketers at the NCA too will have to sign a consent form before resuming training.
“All the Players and staff including administrative staff of NCA shall be tested for Covid-19 (RT-PCR test) to detect the possibility of Covid-19 infection before the resumption of training,” according to the SOP.
“Prior to the commencement of National Cricket Academy, the players shall submit a written undertaking to abide by all the protocols prescribed in this SOP and various government orders issued from time to time in the context of Covid-19 prevention.”
According to its 100-page-long SOP, the players will have to sign the form acknowledging the risks involved with the resumption of training amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 2019-’20 domestic season ended in March but the upcoming season, which usually starts in August, is set to be curtailed due to the health crisis.
“The health and safety of players, staff and stakeholders will be the sole responsibility of respective State Cricket Associations,” read the BCCI guidelines on the resumption of cricket, accessed by PTI.
Support staff, officials and ground staff over 60 years of age and with individuals with underlying medical conditions are barred from attending training camps until “suitable guidelines are issued by the Government”.
From travelling to the stadium to training there, the players will have to follow strict safety protocols. Before the commencement of the camp, the medical team should acquire travel and medical history (past two weeks) of all players and staff through an online questionnaire. Any player and staff suspected to have Covid-19-like symptoms will need to undergo PCR tests.
“Two tests one day apart (Day 1 & Day 3) should be done to account for false negatives. If both the test results are negative, only then they should be included in the camp,” read the SOP.
The players will have to wear an N95 mask (without a valved respirator) on the way to the stadium and will be encouraged to wear eyewear in public places as well as during training.
“A webinar before commencement and in-person education workshop on Day 1 of the camp must be conducted by the CMO (Chief Medical Officer, to be appointed by all state units) for all players and staff...”
Players are being advised to take their own transportation on way to the stadium. Following the ICC’s ban, the players are barred from using saliva on the ball. Their body temperature will be checked every morning before the training session and if any of them develops symptoms of coronavirus, they should go into self-quarantine until more help arrives at the ground.
“Spectators, players’ parents and other visitors should not be allowed entry into the stadium at any time of the day. Only players, support staff and other accredited ground, catering and security staff should be permitted. If any visitors are permitted, then they must be compulsorily screened using non-contact thermometer before entry into the stadium/ground. They must wear a triple layer mask covering their nose and mouth at all times.”
Only one entry point to the stadium should be accessible to control access to the ground. The ground staff should prepare the ground and the wickets during the time outside of the team training hours, read the BCCI guidelines.
It is not yet clear but when the domestic season starts.
“All decisions about the resumption of sporting activities must take place with careful reference to these principles following close consultation with MoHFW (union health ministry) and/or Local Public Health or other authorities, as relevant. Resumption of training will happen in a phased manner with progression from outdoor training activities to indoor training over the next few weeks as permitted by local health authorities,” the SOP added.