No biobubble for India’s home series against Proteas: BCCI sources

BCCI will in all likelihood do away with biobubbles from the upcoming five-match T20 series against South Africa, keeping the cricketers’ mental well-being in mind.

Bio-bubbles became a part of cricketers’ lives as almost all series (at home and away) played in a strictly biosafety environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The T20 series will be played at five venues – Delhi, Cuttack, Vizag, Rajkot, Bengaluru – between 9 and 19 June.

The IPL, which is also being played in a bio-bubble for the safety of players and officials, ends on May 29, and BCCI does not want its players to move to another limited stay just after the end of the league.

“If all goes well and things remain in control as they are right now, there will be no biobubbles and harsh quarantine during the home series against South Africa,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on condition of anonymity.

“Then we’re going to Ireland and England, and there will be no biobubble in those countries either.”

The board is aware that bubble life is not sustainable for long periods of time as it can seriously affect players’ mental health to stay confined to confined areas.

“Some players have had periodic breaks, but if you look at the bigger picture, it’s simply exhausting for players to live in bio-bubbles one series after another and now two months of IPL,” he said.

In the UK, so far there are no biobubbles for any sporting activity and therefore the Indian team is expected to have a free environment in the country where they would play a test and six white ball matches in three weeks.

However, it is understood that the players will be tested at regular intervals to ensure that there are no positive cases in the group.

Workload management according to IPL

An effective workload management program is being developed so that all stars including skipper Rohit Sharma, senior players Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, goalkeeper Rishabh Pant, pacers Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, spinner Ravindra Jadeja get adequate rest before setting off to the UK.

“There are five T20 internationals between June 9 and 19 in five cities. It is clear that not all players play all the matches. Some can get total rest and some can play a few matches.

“If these guys do not get systemic breaks, it will only hurt them. But of course, the duration of the break will be determined by the voters after talking to head coach (Rahul Dravid),” the source added.

It will be interesting to see if Hardik Pandya – whose comeback is only a matter of time – will be selected for the Proteas series at home just after a grueling IPL season or directly in the T20I series in Ireland.

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