Bengaluru: Royal Challengers Bangalore kicks off 13th edition of IPL 2020 in a safe bio-secure environment while fostering a bubble ecosystem that will ensure the psychological, physical and emotional well-being of the squad in the UAE.
In an environment where fitness facilities have not been easily accessible, since the season announcement, RCB management has worked with the coaches to map the players based on fitness needs and divided them into groups.
Each group has been training together virtually and following a world-class fitness regime guided and monitored by Strength and Conditioning Coach, Shankar Basu from the convenience of their home.
RCB has strengthened the support-staff for this season by recruiting noted sports psychologist- Dr Chaitanya Sridhar and specialist team-doctor in Dr Charles Minz. Together, they are training the team in mindfulness since March.
Skipper Virat Kohli, was highly engaged in this fitness training hence ensuring, players feel completely ready even before they head for Dubai.
From a safety perspective, the RCB team has put together very stringent guidelines which is in adherence to the health and safety protocols issued by BCCI. These guidelines include testing for Covid-19 at three levels and an advance quarantine of Indian players before they take off for Dubai.
The team in Dubai will be undergoing a 6-day isolation and 3 Covid- 19 testing again before entering a bio bubble. To secure the bubble further, a whole wing is blocked at Waldrof Astoria Dubai Palm exclusively for the team.
Dedicated facilities like gym, team room, lift, separate AC duct and a restaurant will be permanently reserved for exclusive use of the team. All hotel staff and service members will also be tested and staying in-house. All sports, gym and essential equipment will be carried from India to avoid coming in contact with any other external body. There will be one staff member outside the bio-bubble to coordinate anything from the outside world.
RCB will be ensuring that bio-bubble is not punctured at any point and a watertight safety is provided to everyone participating alongside the team. RCB and BCCI are also looking at tech interventions to monitor personal health of everyone in the bubble including wearables and devices which can help contact tracing.
On the preparation of the team, Sanjeev Churiwala, Chairman, Royal Challengers Bangalore said, "RCB's biggest strength lies in love and support the team gets from their fans, and this is going to be a very different season where there will be no crowds cheering in the stadiums and no fans crowding the streets chanting their wishes.
Also, the team is going to be isolated in a bio bubble for over two months, making it imperative that we implement all necessary measures for their physical and mental wellbeing. We have always strived to create a culture of excellence at RCB, and in a year like this, it is even more important that we give all the right support to the team so that they can walk into the stadiums roaring as true challengers."
RCB team will reach Dubai on August 21 and start a 3-week camp with Indian and International Players in collaboration with director of cricket Mike Hesson and head coach Simon Katich from August 29 onwards.(UNI)