Bangladesh men’s pending three-Test series against hosts Sri Lanka could be rescheduled to October, if talks between the BCB and SLC come to fruition. The tour, Bangladesh’s first three-match red-ball series in six years and part of the World Test Championship, was originally scheduled for July-August but had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
ESPNcricinfo understands that with the 2020 men’s T20 World Cup deferred by a year, both boards are keen on having the Test series squeezed into the earliest possible window. In addition, the BCB is also contemplating sending its High Performance team to Sri Lanka for a longer period as the group has not assembled for training in the last four months.
BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury said that the ICC’s announcement of the three World Cups in the next three years has provided the window for Bangladesh to tweak their international calendar and slot in all previously postponed series in the coming months. The tour to Sri Lanka is first on that list.
Chowdhury said that both boards are interested to host the Test series this year itself.
“The ICC’s announcement of the three major tournaments has provided what window we can work with, as now that we know that the tournament dates are fixed, we can work around with our schedule,” Chowdhury told ESPNcricinfo. “Both boards are positive about the Test series going ahead later this year. We are in talks with SLC. Sri Lanka is in a better condition [in terms of Covid-19 caseload] than any of the other sub-continent countries at the moment, and since the situation is not favourable here, we are more keen on the away matches.”
The BCB High Performance programme’s chairman Naimur Rahman said that the players in the High Performance mix, too, are looking forward to the tour of Sri Lanka.
“We are first trying to figure out how we can start the training camp in Dhaka. We were supposed to start in March or April, and then tour Sri Lanka in July,” Rahman said. “But I think once we have the home training sorted, we will discuss the Sri Lanka tour, where we can stay a bit longer to have more training days.”
Chowdhury also said that the board has its eyes on rescheduling the Ireland tour, as well as hosting Australia and New Zealand as soon as the pandemic situation improves in Bangladesh. “We will be in talks with Cricket Ireland as well, though the weather in Ireland is going to be a factor. We will also discuss in due time, when Australia and New Zealand can tour Bangladesh,” he said.
He was also fairly positive about restarting the Dhaka Premier League (DPL), which was postponed after just one round of matches in March. “Our domestic cricket is also our priority. We are discussing with DPL clubs and Bangladesh Premier League franchises but we have to consider many factors including hotels and logistics before reaching a decision,” he said. (Courtesy ESPN Cricinfo)