Namal asks SLC to reconsider quarantine for Bangladesh team

Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa has requested the Sri Lanka Cricket Board to consult the coronavirus Task Force and reconsider a mandatory quarantine for the Bangladesh cricket team to tour Sri Lanka.

“As we all know the #COVID19 pandemic is still at large globally, prevention measures are a high priority. However, given the significance of #cricket in the region, I have asked @OfficialSLC to consult the covid task force and reconsider the @BCBtigers  matter,” Namal Rajapaksa tweeted.

According to ESPN Cricinfo, the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had informed the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) that the Bangladesh players would need to be in quarantine for one week upon landing in the island, before being able to train.

SLC has now increased the quarantine period to 14 days, and BCB president Nazmul Hassan has said it won’t be possible for his players to be confined to their hotel rooms for that long.

After an emergency board meeting, Hassan said that they had been working on a schedule with a seven-day quarantine in mind. But a 14-day period would mean that the Bangladesh Test squad, all of whom haven’t played a competitive match in six months, will get just one week to prepare for the first Test scheduled on October 23.

“We cannot play World Test Championships with these term and conditions,” Hassan said. “Until their letter yesterday, both boards were having discussions along the lines of a seven-day quarantine,” Hassan said. “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. There are three or seven-day quarantines in those places where the players can either train among themselves or use the gym.

Hassan said that the SLC’s limiting of their entourage, while at the same time refusing to give them net bowlers, would be further troubling for the touring side.