In light of the stark Covid-19 situation in the country, Indian Premier League management has imposed severe restrictions on the players through a strong bio-bubble mechanism in place.
For those inside the bio-bubble would have to go through testing for the virus every two days. Earlier the same testing was done once every five days.
Moreover, a ban on the ordering of outside food from restaurants has been implemented to cut down the risk of Covid-19 infection inside bi-bubble.
However, bio-bubble was never a happy place for the players and many players have raised voice against it and complained about the ‘bubble fatigue’ after the end of the tournament on various occasions.
Australian spinner Adam Zampa, who was part of the RCB franchise, decided to opt-out of IPL 2021, citing a personal reason, however, he was not very content with the bio-bubble mechanism as he termed bi-bubble in IPL as vulnerable during a media interaction.
“COVID situation over here is pretty dire. Few other things like bio-bubble fatigue. We’ve been in a few (bubbles) now, and I feel like this is probably the most vulnerable,” said Zampa during a media interaction.
What is a Bio-Bubble?
In simple words, a bio-bubble arrangement is a safe and risk-free atmosphere where all the players, officials, broadcasters, administrators and others related to the successful conduct of the game are kept away from the physical interaction with the world outside.
This set up however is made with necessary arrangements to keep the stakeholders comfortable as much as it can be done with all modern amenities required to conduct a daily life of a normal human being.
However, there are certain limitations and strict rules and regulations in a bio-bubble environment which need to be followed by all. And this leads to some discomfort to players or officials who feel bio-bubble is taking a toll on their freedom and movement.
Many players and officials have opted to withdraw from IPL 2021 citing reasons as bio-bubble, anxiety and personal safety.
The problem of bio-bubble is such as the Paddy Upton, Ex-India mental conditioning trainer urged the cricketing bodies to get detailed feedback from players before making bio-bubble part and parcel of the game for the time being.
Living in these bubbles for a prolonged period may lead to escalation of mental health- issues and depression among players.
A monotonous routine can also put the players in a state of overthinking about the game and it may develop anxiety among players.
The pull out
Many players including Delhi Capitals spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, Rajasthan Royals player Andrew Tye, RCB spinner Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa had cut short their IPL stint due to the bio-bubble fatigue and rising COVID-19 cases in India. More so, two IPL officials have in charge also decided to pull out. Umpires Paul Reiffiel and Nitin Menon also have decided to take a break and pulled out of the ongoing IPL.
Although, all the players and officials’ premature departure from a tournament like IPL cannot be blamed on bio-bubble alone, however, bio-bubble certainly plays a part and is one among the many reasons for such occurrence.