The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has budgeted around ₹10 crore to conduct over 20,000 COVID-19 tests during this year's edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The eight franchises bore the cost of testing in India ahead of the IPL set to start on September 19. However, the BCCI will take it up for the RT-PCR tests which have been conducted since the teams started landing in the UAE from August 20.
"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 BCCI around 200 AED (Dirham) excluding taxes," a senior IPL official told PTI.
"So BCCI will be spending something in the tune ₹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, who wished to remain anonymous, added.
Ahead of the IPL, the Indian cricket board does not want to take any risks regarding the safety of players and officials. The healthcare workers have also 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," the official said.
Between August 20 and 28, a total of 1988 COVID-19 tests were carried out on all involved in the tournament, including players and support staff.