Sun, 16 May 2021

Bangalore (Karnataka) [India], April 22 (ANI): International Cricket Council (ICC) biosafety head Dr Dave Musker said he is fascinated to see how the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League goes amid the coronavirus pandemic ahead of the scheduled T20 World Cup later this year.

"I'm fascinated to see how the IPL works in India over the coming weeks. We will be travelling to India on April 26 to see the arrangements there and are in touch with the BCCI on this. It is on top of our list of priorities. Some of our teams have already travelled to Delhi in the past and gathered significant learnings from there," ESPNcricinfo quoted Musker as saying.

"So I don't think we'll be in position to really tie down what we are going to do in the autumn until we see how the IPL goes. There is a robust plan, which I've looked at. I'm looking forward to the way that that is put in place. But it will be foolish to make those prognostications now rather than waiting to see what happens in India in April and May," he added.

Musker said the two-venue model functional in the IPL can be used in staging the T20 World Cup.

"Could be, might not be. The way the IPL is managed, they only have two venues engaged at one time. You haven't got eight venues at one time. One of the reasons for going to India is to take the cricket across a cricket-loving country so everybody can see their heroes live," he said.

"There is a tension between doing that and staging the event in a way that is as secure as possible for everybody, that's why we haven't published or really got into the detail of the staging venues. If the IPL works with this two-venue caravan model, then it is clearly a good starting point for us to understand how we may stage the men's T20 World Cup," Musker added.

Musker said if someone tests Covid-19 positive in the bubble then the person will be sent to the isolation in-room or at a medical facility.

"You strive not to have cases in the bubble, because you look at cleansing and sanitising pre-travel [before joining the bubble], managed isolation with testing, good social distancing, and the use of health mitigation measures on travel. And then on arrival, a period of time where there is strict isolation inside hotel rooms, along with testing. So you should clear people before they enter into the team environment. And that has proved successful: look at the IPL last year, look at India's tour of Australia, look at England's series at home last summer, to cite a few examples," the ICC biosafety head said.

"So it is perfectly reasonable that you can put measures in place to ensure the chances of somebody testing positive is significantly reduced. Having said that, if somebody does test positive, which has also happened, then we are looking at isolation in-room or at a medical facility, and then retesting to make sure it is not a false positive, and then putting in the appropriate medical care around that person. The other thing that's going to come into play is understanding what the vaccination status is," he added.

When asked about the prospect of crowds in the T20 World Cup, Musker said, "It's too far away. The key thing to me is that we keep learning and we keep listening. We are stronger working together with the other boards and people and our colleagues in the BCCI. The critical thing is, we work together as a cricketing community, so we can put the game on. We are fans as well. I don't want to cancel tournaments. I want to see live cricket. We are passionate about cricket. And we are passionate about putting on tournaments, we just want to do it safely." (ANI)

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