Bangladesh cricket team’s Sri Lanka tour in Limbo

A threat of cancellation looms large on Bangladesh cricket team’s upcoming tour of Sri Lanka. Bangladesh Cricket Board has decided that it will not accept the 14-day quarantine on arrival in Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh is scheduled to tour Sri Lanka from September 27 for a three-Test series.

According to Dhaka Tribune, BCB president Nazmul Hassan has said at a meeting today that it is not possible for Bangladesh national team to tour Sri Lanka under the conditions that have been set by Sri Lanka Cricket.

The decision was taken at a meeting by the BCB board of directors and high-ups at its headquarters at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka.

SLC had reportedly informed the BCB that the Bangladesh cricket team can start practice on its arrival in Sri Lanka on September 27. However, now it has been decided under the State’s strict COVID-19 protocol that the visitors will have to stay in isolation at their team hotel for two weeks.

“A lot of terms are new to us. Many countries have seven-day quarantine but the touring team there are allowed to practice. In some places, teams are being allowed to get to the field after three-day quarantine. But the terms given by SLC yesterday [Sunday] says none of our team members will be allowed to go out even from the room for 14-days. Not even to have food. We feel there is some reason behind this. We feel that maybe they are dealing with a tough situation with Covid-19 which we don’t know about. They are playing domestic games there but when it came to us they are trying to impose these restrictions,” Nazmul addressed the media following the meeting.

“We will have our team initially in Dambulla and not in Colombo. Despite that, they are not allowing our team members to get out of the room. These terms are surprising. Speaking of the practice facilities they will not provide even the net bowlers and at the same time, they are not allowing us to carry any. This is not a child’s play, this is the ICC Test championship. There is a big difference the way we are thinking,” the BCB boss added.

“We have informed them there is no similarity between the way it is being thought of and the reality. It is not possible to play Test championship series under the terms they are trying to set.”

As per the tentative schedule Bangladesh were set to play the first two Tests of the series in Kandy followed by the third at Colombo. But the series now put into the dark, BCB is planning to resume domestic cricket soon.

“We are expecting to hear back from them tomorrow. We have one simple message to them, the terms they are trying to impose is historically unique. It is not possible to play Test championship under such terms. If they invite us for further discussion then we will see where it heads to,” said Nazmul.

“We have not thought of a replacement to this series yet. One thing we want to do is get cricket back to the field. Not sure if we will have any international team playing with us but we have the ambition to start domestic cricket soon. It is yet to be planned but we will surely have cricket back soon. The coaching staff will stay back; the cricketers are not playing for a long time now so we will plan something,” BCB president added.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka sports minister Namal Rajapaksa has asked SLC to reconsider the issue given the significance of the game in the region. Taking to his official Twitter account Namal said, “As we all know the Covid-19 pandemic is still at large globally, prevention measures are a high priority. However, given the significance of cricket in the region, I have asked SLC to consult the Covid-19 task force and reconsider the BCB’s matter.”

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