Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 18 (ANI): Even though players across the world are being permitted to participate in big sporting events despite positive COVID-19 test results, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has decided to continue their 2022 policy of asking players to go through a week-long isolation period before rejoining their team, reported ESPNCricinfo on Saturday.
Though this season will not make use of bio-secure bubbles, earlier mandatory for three years since the pandemic, the IPL has said that it wants to stay "careful" and COVID-19-positive players will not be permitted to partake in any training or matches till they produce a negative COVID test, which can be taken on the fifth day of recovery at the earliest.
"While there has been a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in India we still have to be careful of the emerging strains which are becoming a concern at regular intervals," the IPL's medical guidelines, which were distributed to franchises this week, say.
"Positive cases must be isolated for maximum of seven days. Positive cases will not be allowed to participate in any match or any form of activity/event during the period of isolation."
"From day five, they can undergo a RT-PCR, provided they must be must be asymptomatic without any medication for 24 hours. Once the first result is negative the 2nd test must be done 24 hours apart. Only after obtaining two negative RT-PCR tests 24 hours apart i.e. day five and day six, can they rejoin the group," concluded the guidelines.
IPL pointed out that the testing will be carried out on those who are showing signs of COVID-19, not on asymptomatic ones. Any player who tests positive even after day seven will have to produce two negative COVID-19 tests 12 hours apart before rejoining the team.
Notably, restrictions related to COVID-19 are slowly being relaxed, including in international cricket. In August last year, Australian all-rounder Tahlia McGrath became the first-ever player to play a cricket match despite testing positive for the virus. She participated in Australia's Commonwealth Games 2022 cricket tournament final against India, which her side won.
A few months later during ICC T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia, Aussie wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Wade, who had tested positive for the virus, participated in his side's match against England, which was washed out. In January, Australian opener Matt Renshaw showed symptoms of the disease on the first day of Test against South Africa. He tested positive before the toss but still played the match.
The first match of the IPL 2023 will be played on March 31 between defending champions Gujarat Titans and four-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK). (ANI)