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'One mistake could spoil the whole tournament' - Kohli warns IPL stars
IPL 2020

'One mistake could spoil the whole tournament' - Kohli warns IPL stars

Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli has warned Indian Premier League players regarding serious consequences if they fail to adhere to the strict Covid-19 protocols.

The IPL is set to commence on September 19 in the UAE after being subjected to repeated delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The world's most expensive T20 league was originally supposed to start in March before being mired in fears over possible cancellation, which have now been eliminated as the competition has been shifted abroad.

"One mistake from us could literally spoil the whole tournament," Kohli said in a virtual meeting with players as the squad members prepare to assemble in the "bio-secure bubble" in the UAE.

Currently, the teams are in quarantine in Dubai hotels for six days, during which they will undergo three coronavirus tests each.

Players are allowed to interact with one another and resume professional training only after they yield negative results for three successive tests.

The tournament bubble created by the organisers prevents all players from having physical contact with individuals outside the secure environment.

However, concerns still remain about players potentially breaching the safety rules during the tournament similar to how England's Jofra Archer and Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez have been found guilty of breaking the health protocols in the Test summer.

RCB's director of cricket operations Mike Hesson has also warned players that any deliberate breach of the safety precautions would be dealt with seriously and might be treated as a failure to fulfill contractual obligations.

"If somebody breaks this bubble that we have worked incredibly hard to put in place, it actually affects the whole tournament," Hesson said.

"It's not just RCB, it is the tournament, it is the TV rights, so there will be strong consequences if players choose to do that."

Discussing the ramifications of such an action, Kohli added that a player caught not implementing the rules would be akin to "letting the whole team down". He stated no team could afford to lose a vital asset midway through the IPL since it would be a major stumbling block for them.

"It might happen at a stage of the tournament where we cannot afford to lose that player.

"If we get harmed by it, then the whole system, the whole team, the whole culture loses. I want everyone to understand the repercussions."