BCB awaits Sri Lanka’s response

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is still waiting for Sri Lanka’s positive response about the proposed three-match Test series, chairman of media and communication committee of BCB Jalal Younus said Thursday.

This series was originally scheduled for July-August this year. But due to Covid-19 pandemic, the involved parties rescheduled it for October-November.

Bangladesh national team is due to fly to Sri Lanka on September 27 but the regulation of Sri Lanka to prevent the spread of the virus put a big question before this plan.

As per Sri Lanka’s regulation, everyone who enters the island nation will have to maintain a strict 14-day quarantine. But BCB asked Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to trim this period to seven days. SLC said they have no problem with this but the health authority of Sri Lanka refused the proposal putting the series into jeopardy.

“We’re yet to get a response from SLC. But as we understand, this matter is beyond SLC’s control. A special task force oversees the Covid-19 situation in Sri Lanka. If they allow us to tour the country with a shorter quarantine period, they’ll inform SLC and then they’ll tell us about it. What we have asked them is to ensure a shorter quarantine period and allow us to train during that period,” Jalal Younus told the media.

This week, Nazmul Hassan, the BCB president told the media that if Sri Lanka stays firm on their current regulation of a mandatory 14-day quarantine, Bangladesh might not continue with the tour.

At this stage, Namal Rajapaksa, the cabinet minister of youth affairs and sports of Sri Lanka, urged SLC to negotiate with the health department so that they find a way to ease the restriction for the Tigers and make the series happens.

SLC also came up with a new idea of two-country quarantine. As per this idea, Bangladesh team can stay isolated for seven days in Bangladesh before flying to Sri Lanka and undergo another seven-days isolation after reaching the island nation.

But this idea seems nearly impossible. Neither the health department of Sri Lanka nor the BCB has so far said anything about the two-country quarantine idea.

Despite the uncertainty over the tour, BCB is preparing the squad according to the previous plan. But the ongoing individual and small group training programme is on hold for three days. It will resume on September 20. Jalal Younus said the Bangladesh team is already prepared well for this tour.

“We’re well prepared for the tour. If they come up with a positive response, we can fly to Sri Lanka within a week. But if they delay more than a couple of days, it will make our preparation tough, and in that case, we have to think anew,” Jalal said. (Courtesy The Independent)