Bangladesh’s cricketing activities resume amid strict rules

DHAKA—The cricketing activities in the country finally resumed today after four months hiatus, due to the outbreak of COVID-19. But the players found everything new as Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) made it mandatory for all to adjust with the ‘new normal’.

A total of nine cricketers began individual practice sessions at four venues of the country. The BCB earlier sent them a schedule of their practice session and the players had to comply with it.

Wicket-keeper batsman Mushfiqur Rahim, middle order batsman Mohammad Mithun and pacer Shafiul Islam practiced at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium (SBNCS) in Mirpur individually on the opening day.

The players are used to get into the Mirpur SBNCS through Gate-2. However when Mohammad Mithun entered the stadium as the first player, he found the gate closed. The security guard told him to enter the stadium through Gate No- 5, where his temperature was tested. And then he had to sanitize his hands properly.

Not only Mithun, Mushfiqur and Shafiul also had to go through the same process. The vehicles they brought up also were sanitized properly.

All-rounders Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mahedi Hasan and wicket-keeper batsman Nurul Hasan Sohan practiced at Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulne while fast bowler Syed Khaled Ahmed and spinner Nasum Ahmed trained at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium. Off-spinner Nayeem Hasan was scheduled to practice at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram, only to be denied by persistent rain.

The other players in other venues also had to go through the same process that Mushfiqur and company had to go at the entrance of the SBNCS.

However the practice at SBNCS began with the running session of Mushfiqur Rahim, sharp at 9 am. When Mushfiqur was busy in running, Mohammad Mithun was indoor, where he was practicing batting at the bowling machine.

After completing his running session, Mushfiqur went to the indoor while Mithun came to Academy ground to have his running session. Mushfiqur at that time practiced batting at the indoor.

Shafiul Islam entered into the stadium at 11 am. The BCB for the time being didn’t give him the permission to have his bowling practice. He however had to be satisfied with fitness training and running for an hour.

The training of those three cricketers was supervised by BCB trainer Tushar Kanti Howladar. There were few people to provide balls in the bowling machine for players batting practice and they had to maintain all kinds of social distance. No one was allowed to enter the stadium along with the players. Even the journalists covering the practice session had to stay in another place, maintaining social distance.

“We are trying to follow all kinds of health rules and social distancing for the security of the players,” said BCB chief physician Dr. Devashis Chowdhury. “The players and other stakeholders followed the rules and hopefully we’ll continue this way because the players’ security and health is the first priority for us.”

The BCB however had the desire to begin conditioning camp after the Eid-ul-Adha but beforehand they want the players to get adjusted with this new normal.

Due to the outbreak of Coronavirus in the country, the BCB stopped all cricketing activities from mid March for four months.BSS