Amidst the trend of global sports authorities allowing Covid-19 positive athletes to compete in events, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has decided to maintain its 2022 policy. As per this policy, players who contract the virus will have to undergo a mandatory week-long isolation period before rejoining their respective teams, reported ESPNcricinfo.
Although the upcoming season will not require a bio-secure bubble, which was mandatory for the past three years due to the pandemic, the IPL has emphasized the need for caution. The league has declared that players who test positive for Covid-19 will not be permitted to participate in matches or training until they provide consecutive negative test results. The earliest such tests can be taken is on the fifth day of recovery.
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In contrast to the relaxed approach of other sports organizations towards Covid-19 positive cases, the IPL has declared that it will conduct tests only for individuals displaying symptoms of the virus, and not for asymptomatic players. If a participant continues to test positive even after completing a week of isolation, they will need to provide two negative tests, spaced 12 hours apart, before rejoining their respective teams.
This approach of the IPL differs significantly from the approach taken in international cricket and other sports, where restrictions have been eased regarding Covid-19 positive cases. For instance, in the Commonwealth Games T20 final against India held in August last year, Australian all-rounder Tahlia McGrath became the first cricketer to play in a match despite testing positive for Covid-19.
IPL Organizing Committee Issues Medical Guidelines For Upcoming Season
The IPL Organizing Committee issued franchises with a set of medical guidelines for the upcoming season and hopes that the teams do not skip out on any of the said practices.
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“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. Positive cases must be isolated for a 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 an RT-PCR, provided they 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.”
Players were permitted to take part in matches at international events such as the CWG in England and the T20 World Cup held in Australia last year, as per the guidelines laid out by the International Cricket Council (ICC). However, it remains uncertain whether the ICC will follow the same protocol during the upcoming ODI World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in India later this year.
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