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KT Exclusive: UAE will be a great host for the IPL

Rituraj Borkakoty/Dubai
Filed on August 17, 2020 | Last updated on August 17, 2020 at 06.33 pm
The Rajasthan Royals COO Jake Lush McCrum revealed how the team would deal with a positive case during the tournament. (AP)

With India seeing a disturbing rise in coronavirus cases, the UAE emerged as the perfect venue for the delayed T20 league.

The Rajasthan Royals will arrive in the UAE on August 20 for the 2020 Indian Premier League.

The IPL, which will be staged in the UAE from September 19 to November 10, will be played in a bio-secure environment in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With India seeing a disturbing rise in coronavirus cases, the UAE emerged as the perfect venue for the delayed T20 league.

And Jake Lush McCrum, COO, Rajasthan Royals, winners of the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008, said the franchise have left no stone unturned in their attempt to create the safest environment for the players.

"All our players will be assembling in Mumbai before departure to the UAE. We implemented an extra round of testing for team members staying outside Mumbai beyond the integral two stipulated by the BCCI. This was to ensure that everyone tested negative at the initial point itself and in case of any positive cases, we give them enough time to recover before they finally join the squad," McCrum told Khaleej Times in an email interview.

"They will all be in the same hotel in Mumbai in lockdown for two days before flying to the UAE so that they can do their final test before departure and stay away from any sort of risk. There is not going to be any pre-season camp in India."

Having staged the first phase of the 2014 IPL, the UAE is gearing up to stage another successful tournament putting all the strict health protocols in place.

"The UAE has incredible venues and the Emirates Cricket Board is a fantastic governing body supporting the BCCI in ensuring the effective execution of the tournament. They have implemented strict and robust Covid procedures to create as safe an environment as possible for us to stay there," McCrum said.

"The UAE has hosted the IPL before and I'm sure they will do a fantastic job again this year. The practice facilities are top quality, the hotels are spectacular, and I know all our players are really excited about getting out there for the tournament."

The Rajasthan Royals official then revealed how the team would deal with a positive case during the tournament.

KT Exclusive: UAE will be a great host for the IPL (KT25430817.JPG)

Jake Lush McCrum, COO, Rajasthan Royals. (Supplied photo) 

"Suspected or positive cases will immediately be isolated from the team and the case will be managed by team doctor in accordance with the IPL medical team. Contract tracing will begin immediately. BCCI are putting together a list of accredited hospitals which will be fully equipped to handle all such cases. All cases will however be treated as per set guidelines and protocols of the UAE government," he said.

"Additionally, we have set up a Covid-19 taskforce, that will act as a response team for all queries and any action to be taken during the tournament. This team is being led by Anuja Dalvi, the Indian female physio who has international experience in cricket and other sports, supported by team physiotherapist John Gloster and team doctor, Rob Young. They will be responsible for regular monitoring and medical assessment to make sure the safety of the entire team staying in the UAE."

While there has been no confirmation for the BCCI on whether fans will be allowed in stadiums for the tournament, the Rajasthan Royals have made virtual fan engagement a top priority.

"Fan engagement is a huge focus for us during the tournament. Our engagement across Social Media and our website is integral for us. We're going to be launching our app in a few weeks' time and that second screen is crucial for the fans," he said.

"They'll not just be watching the game on Star Sports but also engaging on their phones through the app, playing our predictor game, or checking out our social content behind the scenes, showcasing what the players have been up to through the week. Digital content is hugely important when you cannot give fans access to training sessions and matches in real life.

"We are having a full production team travelling with us to shoot from the bio-secure environment and give fans an up, close and personal experience with their team. To start with I hope the fans are watching our recently launched documentary, if not I will urge them to watch it as they'll be able to find out what the team will bring from inside the RR camp exclusively for them."

rituraj@khaleejtimes.com

 


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