IPL 2022: BCCI issues statement regarding COVID-19 outbreak in Delhi Capitals camp

One of the strong teams competing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this season, The Delhi Capitals (DC) was hit by six cases of COVID-19. Amidst the ongoing IPL, Australian cricket player Mitchell Marsh and four other DC support staff, tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. Furthermore, another Capitals player tested positive for COVID-19 again in the latest test conducted on Wednesday, 20 April.

One recent case found was Delhi's wicketkeeper, Tim Seifert, who also tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, this New Zealand cricketer could not compete in the match and had to undergo quarantine and treatment first.

However, despite the six confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Capitals team, they still put in their best performance against the Punjab Kings (PBKS) at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. Even though there were players who tested positive, the match went ahead as scheduled.

Coronavirus cases

Previously, the match venue had been moved from MCA Stadium in Pune to Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai due to the emergence of five COVID-19 cases in the Capitals team. Six people who have tested positive for COVID-19 have been placed in quarantine for some time. They will only be allowed to rejoin the Capitals squad once they have fully recovered from COVID-19.

On the other hand, DC is now also continuing to focus on getting their performance back on track after being shaky at the beginning of this season. If a team gets a negative effect from the virus while a match is in progress, can the match schedule for a certain team be rescheduled in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak in the squad?

Reflecting on the case of the Capitals who lost several players in their squad due to COVID-19 infection, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BBCI) responded to this.

BCCI rules

According to the BCCI guidelines, a team can still continue playing in the IPL if the team has at least 12 healthy and COVID-19-free players to play on the field. Of these 12 players, 7 of them must be players from India because according to applicable regulations, the maximum number of foreign players who can be part of the starting XI is limited to only 4 players. But if the franchise team cannot field 12 players, the IPL Technical Committee can reschedule the match.

"Unable to field a team on account of Covid for any match due to having less than 12 players available in the playing XI (of which at least seven must be Indian) plus one substitute fielder. The BCCI, at its discretion, will attempt to reschedule the match for later in the season. If this is not possible, the issue will be referred to the IPL Technical Committee. The decision of the Technical Committee will be final and binding," said the official statement from BCCI.

Last year, IPL 2021 was forced to be stopped due to the COVID-19 outbreak that attacked several teams. The match was then relocated to the UAE and finished there. While in the IPL this season, all stages of the 2022 IPL league will be held in Maharashtra to minimize the risk of COVID-19.

This consideration was made because, if all the teams competed in one state only, it would mean that the team did not travel by plane. The location can be reached by road so this is expected to minimize COVID-19. However, despite many precautions and strict health protocols, COVID-19 has once again managed to shake up the ongoing IPL and is still a threat to this annual tournament.

Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.