COVID-19 restrictions make Test series preparations unfeasible for Bangladesh Cricket Team
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) have decided to postpone the Bangladesh Cricket Team’s Tour of Sri Lanka in October-November 2020 to a later time. Bangladesh were due to travel to Sri Lanka this month to start preparing for a three-match series which is a part of the ICC World Test Championship.
BCB CEO Nizam Uddin Chowdhury said the decision to defer the tour became necessary as the current COVID-19 health guidelines for visitors in Sri Lanka would not have allowed the Bangladesh Team to adequately prepare for a Test series: “We have always maintained that preparation of the team was a priority as the players are coming off a six-month gap from any cricket due to the COVID-19 situation in the country. Therefore, in line with the standard practice in relation to COVID-19 and quarantine for cricket teams in countries where the game has resumed, we wanted the Bangladesh Team to have proper training opportunities in Sri Lanka before they started playing. We never considered fielding an unprepared side in international cricket.
‘The BCB is respectful to the health and safety requirements of every country during the pandemic and had requested SLC to consider a more flexible form of quarantine for the Bangladesh Team in Sri Lanka so that it could start training as a group as early as possible upon arrival. However, from their response we understand that the Ministry of Health of the Sri Lanka Government at the moment was not in a position to make exemptions to its latest ‘Health Guideline’ and that the same restrictions applicable to general visitors will remain in place for the Bangladesh Team which includes a mandatory 14-day strict quarantine in respective rooms of the hotel on reaching.
‘After a careful review of the guideline, the BCB has communicated to the SLC that the circumstances do not allow us to proceed with the tour at this stage.
‘We appreciate SLC and the Sri Lanka Ministry of Sports’ positive approach to the issues concerning the holding of the series despite the many challenges due to the pandemic situation.”
The BCB and SLC are committed to fulfilling respective FTP itineraries and will work together on rescheduling this series to a mutually agreeable window in the near future.