CHENNAI: The Indian contingent including the players, support staff, and their families, is likely to assemble in Mumbai as early as May 18 to undergo a 14-day hard quarantine before leaving for Southampton on June 2. While the initial plan was to assemble in the last week of May, the BCCI is not willing to take any chances this time. Instead, it has tightened its protocols with the entire contingent (including family members) told to produce two negative Covid reports before they begin their isolation period in Mumbai.
The BCCI has also decided to send a medical team to every member of the touring party to take RT-PCR tests. It is understood that the first round of these results will be completed on Thursday with another scheduled for Monday. The contingent will then be placed in hard quarantine at a Mumbai hotel. However, those living in Mumbai have been given an exemption for a week. Instead, they will undergo quarantine at the hotel only for a week. Once they enter the 14-day isolation period, they will be subjected to at least four more RT-PCR tests before being cleared to fly.
Although the BCCI has informed the players and the support staff that their family members can travel to Mumbai, it is still awaiting clearance from the UK authorities for their travel to Southampton. The BCCI has informed the ECB about its players’ stance to take families along as they will spend the next four-and-a-half months in England. The ECB, however, is still awaiting clearance from its government. It’s important to place on record that UK borders are shut for Indian citizens unless they are elite sportspersons.
At Southampton – the venue for the World Test Championship final – the contingent will be placed under hard quarantine for three days and will be allowed to train from June 6. But they won’t be allowed to step out of the hotel and the venue till mid-June during which time they are also scheduled to play at least one intra-squad practice match before facing New Zealand from June 18.