Reports: BCCI to relinquish bubble life for domestic tournaments this month

This will be the first instance of professional cricket taking place in India without bio-bubble norms since the COVID era began.

Ranji Trophy final
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Ranji Trophy final. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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As per the latest developments, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is planning to relinquish the bio-bubble life for domestic matches. Ever since the COVID-19 virus came into the picture, professional cricketers have to confine themselves in a particular zone amid safety concerns during tournaments. This also includes undergoing quarantine period before entering the team’s bubble.

As many players have complained of fatigue due to the same, BCCI has decided to carry out an experiment with two domestic competitions this month. The Under-19 Cooch Behar Trophy knockouts and the senior women’s T20 trophy are scheduled to get underway on April 18. Teams have been informed that the players won’t have to undergo quarantine upon their arrival in the host cities for the tournament.

Frequent RT-PCR will be conducted

Notably, this will be the first instance of professional cricket taking place in India without bio-bubble norms since the COVID era began. However, frequent RT-PCR will be conducted to ensure the safety of players. As per the directives shared by the Indian cricket board, teams can report to their camps three days prior to the competition (April 15) and begin their training on the subsequent day.

Meanwhile, players are still being asked to not be complacent and follow COVID-appropriate behaviour. While teams will be put in a designated part of the hotel, players aren’t encouraged to engage with people besides the tournament participants.

“When the IPL schedule was drawn, the third wave was still on the wane. The board didn’t want to take any chances with a multi-city tournament. There’s a lot at stake. These two domestic tournaments could be a good reference to where we stand when it comes to dealing with the virus,” a BCCI source was quoted as saying by the Times of India.

“One may expect that the three-team Women’s T20 Challenge during the IPL may also see the bubbles relaxing for the players,” added the source. Meanwhile, it has also been learned that the International Cricket Council (ICC) is also mulling doing away with the bubble life and a discussion regarding the same can take place in this week’s board meeting.