The Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to resume from September in the United Arab Emirates. The tournament was suspended in may earlier, due to Covid positive cases inside the team bubbles. The extravagant tournament has hit quite a few roadblocks already. Now, the logistics concern in UAE has left the franchises sweating.
The second leg of the IPL clashes with Dubai Expo, which was originally scheduled between 20 October 2020 – 10 April 2021. But due to the pandemic, the organizers postponed the event. Due to the Dubai Expo, it has become difficult for the franchises to get bulk room bookings for the Indian Premier League. It will also become increasingly tough for the IPL franchises to maintain a secure Bio Bubble for the tournament.
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Speaking to ANI, a franchise official said that the initial plan was to head to the UAE as soon as the BCCI permits. But now with the prevalent situation, they may have to seal the logistics deal through video calls.
“We are yet to get the go-ahead from the BCCI and it is understandable with an eye on the COVID-19 situation. What we do understand is that we will get clarity from the board on the plan ahead around July 15. After that, we could be free to travel. But looking at how the COVID-19 situation is always changing, we might look at video calls to complete the bookings. We need to keep in mind the Dubai Expo and how it might make it difficult to get bulk rooms with every passing day,” the official said.
Maintaining the Bio-Bubble will be a challenge for IPL franchises
Another official spoke to ANI about the difficulty in booking the hotel rooms while following all the bio bubble protocols.
“We have the Dubai Expo starting from October 1. Getting hotel rooms that are isolated from the rest of the guests staying in a hotel can be a real challenge. It isn’t the same as last time because the tourists coming to UAE last time was minimal as compared to what is expected for the Expo. The sooner we can close the deal, the better because once we have locked the rooms, we have to play the bubble which needs to be foolproof,” the official said.
The franchises are also worried about the rising hotel room prices and the complications of managing the bio-bubble.
“We are looking at a new hotel this time around and we want around 80-100 rooms and preferably in a separate wing so that there is no chance of the players or staff entering and exiting from the same passage as used by the guests staying in the hotel.
There is no doubt that creating the bubble will be a challenge as we will have more people coming into UAE this time as compared to last year. The logistics team will need to sit down with the blueprint of the hotel and plan meticulously as there is no second chance here,” the official said to ANI.