New Delhi: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has budgeted nearly Rs 10 crore for more than 20,000 COVID-19 tests to be conducted during the Indian Premier League (IPL) which starts on September 19.
While the eight franchises bore the cost of testing in India, the BCCI is picking up the tab for the RT-PCR tests which have been conducted from August 20 when the teams started landing in the UAE.
"We have engaged VPS Healthcare, a UAE-based company, to conduct the tests. While I can't put a number, it will be more than 20,000 tests which would include everyone. Each test would cost (the) BCCI around 200 AED (Dirham) excluding taxes," a senior IPL official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
"So (the) BCCI will be spending something in the tune of Rs 10 crore for the COVID tests. Around 75 healthcare workers who are part of the company are a part of the IPL testing process," the official said.
The BCCI doesn't want to leave anything to chance as far as safety of players and officials is concerned and the healthcare workers have been put in a separate hotel.
"We couldn't have taken the risk. A separate bio-bubble has been created by the company in a hotel. Around 50 of its health care staff are attached with testing process while another 25 are engaged in lab and documentation work.
"The BCCI is, however, not paying for this bio-bubble and hotel expenses which will be borne by the company," he informed.
A total of 1,988 COVID tests were carried out between August 20 and 28 across all those involved with the tournament, including players and support staff.