NCA chief Rahul Dravid to be part of COVID task force

Updated: 04 August, 2020 07:24 IST | PTI | New Delhi

For resumption of training at the NCA in Bengaluru, the COVID task force will include Dravid, a medical officer, a hygiene officer and BCCI AGM, Cricket Operations

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid

The BCCI is forming a COVID-19 task force and it will include, among others, former captain and National Cricket Academy chief Rahul Dravid, the apex body said in its SOP to state associations. Dravid being the head of NCA is likely to be the head of the said task force. Players will have to sign a consent form before resuming training at their respective centres as per the standard operating procedure, which bars anyone above 60 years of age and individuals with underlying medical conditions from being part of the camp. For resumption of training at the NCA in Bengaluru, the COVID task force will include Dravid, a medical officer, a hygiene officer and BCCI AGM, Cricket Operations.

Their responsibilities will include communicating "clearly and regularly with the players, explaining measures being taken to manage risk, and the advice being given to individuals to follow the same and update of COVID19 cases to relevant higher management". Like the players at their respective state centres, cricketers at the NCA too will have to sign a consent form before resuming training. "All the Players and staff including administrative staff of NCA shall be tested for COVID-19 (RT-PCR test) to detect the possibility of COVID 19 infection before the resumption of training," as per the SOP. "Prior to the commencement of National Cricket Academy, the players shall submit a written undertaking to abide by all the protocols prescribed in this SOP and various Government orders issued from time to time in the context of COVID19 prevention."

According to its 100-page-long SOP, the players will have to sign the form acknowledging the risks involved with resumption of training amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2019-2020 domestic season ended in March but the upcoming season, which usually starts in August, is set to be curtailed due to the health crisis. "The health and safety of players, staff and stakeholders will be the sole responsibility of respective State Cricket Associations," read the BCCI guidelines on resumption of cricket, which is in PTI's possession. From travelling to the stadium to training there, the players will have to follow strict safety protocols. Before the commencement of the camp, the medical team should acquire travel and medical history (past 2 weeks) of all players and staff through an online questionnaire. Any player and staff suspected to have COVID-19-like symptoms should undergo PCR tests.

"Two tests one day apart (Day 1 & Day 3) should be done to account for false negatives. If both the test results are negative, only then they should be included in the camp," read the SOP. The players will have to wear a N95 mask (without a valved respirator) on the way to the stadium and will be encouraged to wear eyewear in public places as well as during training. "A webinar before commencement and in-person education workshop on Day 1 of the camp must be conducted by the CMO (Chief Medical Officer, to be appointed by all state units) for all players & staff..." Players are advised to take their own transportation on way to the stadium. Following the ICC's ban, the players are barred from using saliva on the ball.

Their body temperature will be checked every morning before the training session and if any of them develops symptoms of coronavirus, he should go into self-quarantine until more help arrives at the ground. "Spectators, players' parents and other visitors should not be allowed entry into the stadium at any time of the day. Only players, support staff and other accredited ground, catering and security staff should be permitted. "If any visitors are permitted, then they must be compulsorily screened using non-contact thermometer before entry into the stadium/ground. They must wear a triple layer mask covering their nose and mouth at all times."

Only one entry point to the stadium should be accessible to control access to the ground. The ground staff should prepare the ground and the wickets during the time outside of the team training hours, read the BCCI guidelines. It is not yet clear but when domestic season starts, all government guidelines will have to be followed. "All decisions about the resumption of sporting activities must take place with careful reference to these principles following close consultation with MoHFW (union health ministry) and/or Local Public Health or other authorities, as relevant.

"Resumption of training will happen in a phased manner with progression from outdoor training activities to indoor training over the next few weeks as permitted by local health authorities," the SOP added. The BCCI has also mentioned that the injury management of players could be remotely monitored with a detailed flow chart which indicates that injured players could discuss their issues over video call with NCA physio. Once injury is reported, head of NCA will depute a physio who will monitor it via video call as all medical reports are submitted. The rehab program then will be emailed. The players will also have a detailed form that they will submit to the trainer which includes, the kind of exercises they have done, and contain information about pre and post lockdown weight.

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First Published: 04 August, 2020 07:21 IST

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