IPL 2021: Teams unhappy with Devdutt Padikkal straightaway joining RCB bubble

IPL Teams have reportedly expressed anger about Devdutt Paddikal joining his team’s Bio Bubble without first observing a seven-day quarantine. Paddikal had missed the opening game of IPL 2021 against Mumbai Indians yesterday in Chennai.

Other teams are unhappy that the 20-year-old has been given direct entry into the team space without the player having to undergo the mandatory seven-day quarantine in the hotel,  without complying with the norms set by BCCI. Padikkal tested positive, stayed in home quarantine, and came directly to join RCB camp – which caused resentment among other franchises. Following is the complete guideline issued by BCCI.

“All franchise team members must quarantine in their hotel room for 7 days before entering the Bubble. Upon arrival and before commencing any group training activities, all team members who will be included in the Bubble will follow the below-mentioned COVID-19 RT-PCR testing plan. A nasopharyngeal swab will be taken for testing. Test reports are available within 8-12 hours after sample collection, Test reports are available within 8-12 hours after sample collection.” It then lists out the timeline for the three mandatory RT-PCR tests. Only when all three tests come negative, one can enter a bubble.” 

Meanwhile, RCB has come to defend their decision as an RCB spokesperson stated that Padikkal tested negative for Covid-19 thrice and was only then allowed entry into the bubble. The Royal Challengers Bangalore also released an official statement stating that Padikkal joined the team on 7th April 2021 and that all the BCCI protocols were followed. The statement concluded by stating that the RCB medical team has been in constant touch with Padikkal to ensure that he is healthy.

“We are pleased to inform that Royal Challengers Bangalore, left-handed batsman Devdutt Padikkal, has joined the team on 7th April 2021 with negative reports for COVID-19 as per BCCI protocols. RCB medical team was in constant touch with Devdutt to ensure his safety and well-being,” read the official statement.

Even if a member enters the bubble at a later date, the rules state that those players will also have to observe their quarantine period, though they can do so in the team hotel as long as it’s outside the bubble. They can enter the team bubble only after completing their seven-day quarantine and upon confirmation that they have tested negative thrice through the RT-PCR method.

From what has been observed, Padikkal entered the team bubble in Chennai on April 7. He was directly allowed after two negative tests. Padikkalhad tested positive for Covid-19 on March 22 and went into home quarantine straightaway.

According to  CricBuzz, RCB seems to have only followed the norms for Positive test results.  The relevant clause reads: “Any participant testing positive for COVID-19 will have to isolate for a minimum of 10 days. During the 10-days isolation, the individual will be tested on Day 9 and Day 10. Two consecutive negative RT-PCR test results taken 24 hours apart, full resolution of symptoms, no fresh symptoms for more than 24 hours and no use of medications for more than 24 hours are mandatory for re-entry into the Bio-Secure Environment. To account for any false positive tests due to historical infections, serology tests and repeat RT-PCR tests may be conducted.”

This clause has been followed by Nitish Rana who had tested positive on his arrival and hence is observing quarantine at the hotel under the supervision of Bubble Integrity Officers, appointed by BCCI. Meanwhile, Paddikal practiced home quarantine and hence the same rule does not apply to him. BCCI is yet to make a statement on this situation. It is in the best interest of everyone involved that rules are strictly followed, given the way the second wave is spreading in the country.

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