Thu. Sep 24th, 2020

The Sri Lankan Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa asked Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to reconsider the Covid-19 directives for Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and cricketers’ quarantine terms as BCB President Nazmul Hasan virtually regrets to tour the Island nation with such tough terms and conditions.

“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,” Namal Rajapaksa tweeted on Monday.

Earlier in a media briefing at Mirpur Stadium on Monday, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Nazmul Hasan said the series against Sri Lanka for three Tests is not possible if the hosts do not allow Bangladesh a shorter quarantine period and other facilities that have been sought earlier.

As per the Sri Lankan government’s regulation, everyone who enters the island nation is required a 14-day strict quarantine, but BCB agreed only for a seven-day quarantine. During quarantine, every member of the Bangladesh team and coaching staff will need to undergo the Covid-19 Test thrice, and they only get permission to use practice facilities if they test negative.

“The terms and conditions of Sri Lanka sent to us are not possible to follow. So we think this series is not possible considering the current circumstances. We’re set to tell them our stance,” Nazmul told the media after a meeting at the BCB headquarters in Mirpur.

Bangladesh squad is scheduled to travel to Sri Lanka on September 27. As the team out of match practice for over six months, they are supposed to spend almost a month in preparation. The first Test is supposed to kick off in the later part of October.

A total of 65 people, including the Tigers, the BCB High-Performance team, and the support staff, are supposed to travel to Sri Lanka.

On the condition of testing negative for coronavirus, players would be allowed to train from the third day of arrival, according to BCB’s discussions with SLC earlier.

“What we’ve thought earlier is very different from the current scenario. And we think their arrangements are different from other countries who have already started playing international cricket,” the BCB boss said.

In other countries, a foreign team can start practice after a seven-day strict quarantine. But Sri Lanka proposed Bangladesh 14-day quarantine when every member of the team should stay at their hotel rooms.

“But now their terms and conditions are nowhere near those discussions, and neither are they anything close to what other countries hosting cricket in the pandemic are doing.”

“This is not a boys’ game, this is part of ICC World Test Championship. So we are unable to understand what they really want to say,” Nazmul said.

BCB has a plan to send High-performance Unit (HP) to Sri Lanka with the national team so that they can play practice game among them. Sri Lanka Cricket agreed to this. But the health department of the island nation cleared that they will not allow so many members with Bangladesh team.

Nazmul said: “We thought that Sri Lanka is safer than Bangladesh in terms of Covid-19 situation. So we planned to send our national team days earlier so that they can have a longer practice camp. But the current situation is so different. We don’t know the main reason behind this.

“They may have a dangerous Covid-19 situation but we don’t know. But they are hosting domestic cricket. So the real reason seems to be something else. We wanted to host our initial camp in Dambulla which is an isolated area.

“Despite that, they did not agree to a shorter quarantine period. I think this is a surprising move by Sri Lanka.”

This series was originally scheduled for July-August, but due to the outbreak of the virus, it was later rescheduled for October-November. It is part of the ongoing World Test Championship.

TH

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By Editor

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