Bangladesh wants to play SL series with full preparation

DHAKA —The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) stressed upon the requirements of playing the three-match Test series against Sri Lanka with full and absolute preparation as they have been out of cricket since the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country in March.

But while they want to get the opportunity of taking full preparation, the Sri Lanka health ministry’s COVID-19 rules made it tougher for Bangladesh. The Lankan health ministry emphasized on 14-day quarantine for the visiting nation even though BCB and Sri Lanka Cricket agreed for seven-day quarantine.

Bangladesh earlier thought they could prepare themselves during the quarantine period but as per Sri Lanka’s latest decision, the Tigers have to stay in quarantine at the hotel. To accommodate at least 60 players and officials including national and High Performance (HP) team at a five-star hotel for 14 days is quite tougher for BCB.

Since the national team and HP team would land in Sri Lanka earlier than the scheduled time, Initially the BCB would have to bear the expenditure of the both teams before the Lankan board officially took over the series.

So the discussion revolved around now to how they could reach a concrete solution, said BCB director Naimur Rahman Durjoy MP.

“The two boards have so far agreed on a 7-day quarantine. The directive from the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health says 14 days quarantine,” Durjoy, also the former Bangladesh captain, said here today.

“At the same time, we thought we could practice while we were in quarantine, but now it is also forbidden. So we are letting them know our observations. It is not under the control of the Sri Lanka Board, the Ministry of Health and their Army have an issue here. They are also thinking of reducing the number of members on the tour. That is also an issue. But we are giving the observations of increasing the number of members.”

Since Sri Lanka won’t give Bangladesh any team to play a warm-up game, the Bangladesh national team and HP team will play two warm-up games between them.

So when the plot issues created a barrier, the series is believed to be in an uncertain state but Durjoy ruled it out, saying there is no obstacle.

“No worries, you actually want to play but the playing environment has to be there. That environment is created and we can play with maximum preparation. Playing Test matches after six/seven months and if we can’t prepare for that test properly, it will be very difficult. Both boards are sincere so that we can get on the field,” Durjoy, also the game development chairman of BCB said.

He in fact made it clear Bangladesh would have to play the series because the three Tests are the part of ICC World Test Championship and if they miss the series, it will be tougher for them to get another slot.

“The national team has some priority because you know there is a matter of Test championship. In that case, if we miss this window with the Test Championship, it will be difficult to find a new window or slot. So the Test series will get priority in the national team,” he remarked.

“We still have plans for the national team and HP to play together in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan Board and our Board agreed in many cases where the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health made some observations which is why we have to move a little slow. We sat down today to increase the communication. After receiving the observations, we sit down and give them our observations again. Then the Sri Lankan board corresponded with their Ministry of Health and will give us feedback,” he concluded.BSS