IPL 2021 – Punjab Kings: Punjab Kings (PBKS) is one of the IPL team based out of Covid-19 hotbed Mumbai. KL Rahul led PBKS is scheduled to play Rajasthan Royals (RR) in their opening match on 12th April. With Covid-19 gripping IPL stakeholders big time, PBKS has decided to stay in a small hotel for more safe and secure bio-bubble.
Punjab Kings CEO told InsideSport.co that various steps have been taken to make the team completely secure from Covid-19 infection –
– PBKS staying in a small hotel
– Hotel lift, restaurant, floor completely & exclusively dedicated for the KL Rahul team
– Hotel finalized at such a place from where practice facility is just 5 minutes away
– No one is allowed to get in the vicinity of the players
– No one from the franchisee outside the bubble can meet the players
“We are staying in a small hotel. The hotel has a dedicated lift exclusively meant only for our players. The lift only opens only on the floor dedicated to our players and the floor of the restaurant which is accessible only by the players. The team practices at MCA ground which is just 5 min away from the hotel. All precautions are taken and sanitiser is being used on a regular basis. The dressing room is being sanitized on a regular basis more than once a day. No one is allowed to get in the vicinity of the players. No one from the franchisee outside the bubble can meet them.”, confirmed Satish Menon, CEO of Punjab Kings to InsideSport.
IPL 2021: Punjab Kings says, this time BIO-BUBBLE norms ‘stricter’ than what it was in IPL 2020
According to Punjab Kings CEO and various players InsideSport spoke to the bio-bubble guidelines in this edition of the IPL is much ‘stricter’ than the previous edition in UAE held in Sept-Oct last year.
“We are following a very strict bio-bubble with utmost precautions this time. This is a stricter bio-bubble than what he had in UAE. We have a bio-bubble comprising of around 35 players, coaches and support staff. We have given the mandatory Covid test on arrival in Mumbai and all have tested negative. Players joining the camp only after following the quarantine rules. We are ensuring no one gets complacent. We are taking it very seriously with utmost care. there is no need for us to over-react or panic as following a strict bio bubble mean we will stay away from the pandemic,” Punjab Kings CEO Satish Menon told Insidesport.co in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.
Earlier, in an exclusive interview with Insidesport.co, Punjab Kings batting coach Wasim Jaffer said he and his team were not afraid or worried about what happened outside the bubble. “We don’t need to worry about Mumbai. We players in the IPL remain in a bubble. Other officials and support staff have their own bubble. Whatever happens outside this bubble we are not affected by it. Shifting the venue from Mumbai is not necessary at this stage with such a short span of time. The groundsmen and event management people will be replaced. I am sure the situation is under control and hoping that situation does not worsen further.”
PBKS left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh is also not worried at all about camping and playing IPL matches in Mumbai which has once again emerged as Covid hotspot in the second wave of the pandemic in the country, “I have no time worrying about the growing Covid cases in the country and Mumbai in particular as these things are beyond my control. We are in a biosecure bubble so it really doesn’t matter for us how many cases are outside this bubble. The fact remains that if we do not breach the bubble then we are safe. We are all following the necessary guidelines and protocols. The team management is taking care of it so I need not worry. We are all in a strict bubble from the beginning. In fact, it’s not difficult at all. I have been in 3 bio bubbles since IPL 2020 in September last year. This year, we had Syed Mushtaq Ali & Vijay Hazare tournament in domestic cricket. There has not been any problem or hiccups so far. We enter into a bubble and then re-enter into another. The process of the bubble to bubble transfer has been smooth,” the left-arm pacer from Punjab observed.
IPL 2021: Various incidents of players, staff and IPL stakeholders getting impacted by Covid-19 reported
Delhi Capitals’ Axar Patel, KKR’s Nitish Rana and RCB’s Devdutt Padikkal have been impacted by the Covid-19 virus. As many as 12 ground staff members of the Wankhede Stadium, 8-10 IPL event manager, few other IPL staff members have returned Covid-19 positive. This has resulted in franchises being very cautious about their teams this time.
The BCCI has still decided to go ahead with IPL 2021 in Mumbai and have told all the franchises to take utmost care of their players and staff.
Wankhede Stadium is set to host 10 IPL games this season from April 10-25. The first match at the Mumbai stadium is slated to be played on April 10 between Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings. Four franchises — Delhi Capitals, Chennai Super Kings, Punjab Kings, and Rajasthan Royals have set up their base in Mumbai as of now.