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Chennai Super Kings were under the scanner again as player KM Asif became the first player to breach the bio-secure bubble guidelines in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 season. It was a big protocol that BCCI had to go through to make the 20th edition of the Indian Premier League happen.

A consequence of the whole pandemic situation was that the Indian board, with the help of the UAE government, issued strict guidelines for not only the players but every member of the IPL contingent. Chennai Super Kings had a shaky start and rumors even suggested that they might not be a part of this edition as 13 members of the franchise had tested positive for COVID-19.

However, they escaped it as everyone recovered just in time and no last-minute changes were made to the planned schedule. As per reports, KM Asif breached the bio-bubble due to some personal issues and was then sent into a six-day quarantine.

KM Asif  CSK
KM Asif (Picture credits: Wisden)

He had misplaced his room key and therefore decided to go the reception to get a spare one but unfortunately, the reception was out of the ‘designated area’ as per the guidelines. A close source in the IPL said, “It was an unintentional mistake but rules had to be followed. He underwent six days of quarantine and has now resumed practice with the team.” 

However, the story took a complete U-turn after CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan gave an interview to ANI suggesting that matter is blown out of proportion and the story mentioned above was half-cooked. He said, “I don’t know if facts have been checked because while there is a reception in the lobby, the staff attending to the CSK unit is different. Asif obviously would not go and speak to the general staff. The boys know that there is a dedicated team working with the players. The fact he lost the key and went and asked for a replacement is true. But he didn’t go to the regular staff working and went to the designated desk.”

He further elaborated on the fact that the team is already aware of the seriousness of the pandemic, further revealing that he himself has not entered the floors where the players and staff are staying. Their bubble is different from what is created for the officials.

He then also confirmed that despite everything that actually happened, the players have now undergone 14 tests so far and everyone has tested negative including Asif.

Every franchise has an idea of the repercussions if any player is found to have breached the guidelines as it could exacerbate the issue and put everyone else in trouble. As per the general guidelines set, the player who breaches the bio-bubble environment will be first sent into a six-day quarantine on the first offense and the repercussions increase with the severity of the offense.

Also, not wearing the allotted Restrata fob (GPS wristband), not completing the daily health report, and missing a COVID test which has been scheduled are the four different cases that will also be considered as a breach. Apart from that, the player’s families who are staying with them in UAE will also have to strictly follow the same guidelines.

Cover picture credits: thequint.com