Cricketers to undergo corona test amid uncertainty over SL tour

DHAKA —The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will conduct the COVID-19 test of 27 cricketers who were given GO (Government Order) for the tour of Sri Lanka.

The corona test of those 27 cricketers will be held on Friday as the uncertainty looms over the Sri Lanka series following Bangladesh’s refusal to stay mandatory 14-day quarantine in the Island nation.

Nonetheless Bangladesh wanted to take preparation from their part.

“We want to prepare for our part. At the same time, we are waiting for the reply of Sri Lanka,” said BCB Cricket Operations Chairman Akram Khan.

The BCB made it clear that apart from seven-day quarantine and practice facilities during the isolation period should be given, otherwise they wouldn’t tour Sri Lanka. They are due to play a three-match Test series there, which is the part of the ICC World Test Championship.

Since Bangladesh has been out of cricket since March, they were keen to set up a practice camp in Sri Lanka in a bid to get a good preparation for the series. But Sri Lanka who so far contained COVID-19 well, was reluctant to give them the opportunity, making it clear that Bangladesh players and officials even couldn’t go out of the hotel room while in the 14-day quarantine period.

If Bangladesh accepts Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 protocol, they clearly won’t get any time to take preparation. At the same time, Sri Lanka won’t give them any team to play a warm-up game due to the COVID-19 protocol. Therefore Bangladesh doesn’t see any merit in touring the country unless Sri Lanka changes COVID-19 protocol.

However Bangladesh still wanted to be ready for their part. And as part of the plan for the series, the cricketers’ individual practice session has been temporarily suspended for the corona test. The players will not be seen in individual training practice at the Home of Cricket from Thursday to Saturday.

Meanwhile, according to the previously announced schedule, the Bangladesh national team was scheduled to board the hotel from September 20 and they are officially due to start training on September 21. Three days later, on September 24, the national players are supposed to undergo a corona test again before boarding the Colombo-bound plane on September 27.

The first Test is scheduled to be held on October 24.BSS