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BCB chief: Sri Lanka tour not possible under hosts' terms

  • Published at 03:44 pm September 14th, 2020
Photo: Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

The decision was taken in a meeting by the board directors and high-ups in BCB headquarters at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Monday. SLC will be informed of the BCB decision soon

Bangladesh Cricket Board [BCB] president Nazmul Hasan has said it is not possible for Bangladesh national team to tour Sri Lanka under the conditions that has been set by Sri Lanka Cricket, the hosts cricket board. The decision was taken in a meeting by the board directors and high-ups in BCB headquarters at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Monday.

Bangladesh’s tour of Sri Lanka for the three-match Test series was pushed into uncertainty due to the conditions set by Sri Lanka Cricket [SLC]. BCB was initially informed that the touring contingent will require no Covid-19 quarantine upon reaching the island on September 27 and that they could step on the field from the next day to prepare for the series scheduled to start on October 23.

However, developments in the discussion saw SLC come with protocols that put BCB in dilemma. SLC insisted that the touring party would require a 14-day long strict quarantine at the hotel and also that the team should not be more than of 30 members including the coaching staff. Restriction over number of members in the team meant BCB’s plan of making its high-performance unit tour Sri Lanka alongside the national team was put in jeopardy.

“A lot of terms are new to us. Many countries have seven-day quarantine but the touring team there are allowed to practice. At some places teams are being allowed to get to the field after three-day quarantine. But the terms given by SLC yesterday [Sunday] says none of our team members will be allowed to go out even from the room for 14-days. Not even to have a food. We feel there is some reason behind this. We feel that may be they are dealing a tough situation with Covid-19 which we don’t know about. They are playing domestic games there but when it came to us they are trying to impose these restrictions,” Nazmul addressed the media following the meeting on Monday at SBNS.

“We will have our team initially in Dambula and not in Colombo. Despite that they are not allowing our team members to get out from the room. These terms are surprising. Speaking of the practice facilities they will not provide even the net bowlers and at the same time they are not allowing us to carry any. This is not a child’s play, this is ICC Test championship. There is a big difference the way we are thinking,” the BCB boss added.

“We have informed them there is no similarity between the way it is being thought of and the reality. It is not possible to play Test championship series under the terms they are trying to set,” said Nazmul.

As per the tentative schedule Bangladesh were set to play the first two Tests of the series in Kandy followed by the third at Colombo. But the series now put into dark, BCB is planning to resume domestic cricket soon. 

“We are expecting to hear back from them tomorrow. We have one simple message to them, the terms they are trying to impose is historically unique. It is not possible to play Test championship under such terms. If they invite us for further discussion then we will see where it heads to,” said Nazmul.

“We have not thought of a replacement to this series yet. One thing we want to do is get cricket back to the field. Not sure if we will have any international team playing with us but we have ambition to start domestic cricket soon. It is yet to be planned but we will surely have cricket back soon. The coaching staffs will stay back; the cricketers are not playing for a long time now so we will plan something,” BCB president added.

Meanwhile Sri Lanka sports minister Namal Rajapaksa has asked SLC to reconsider the issue given the significane of the game in the region. Taking to his official Twitter account Namal said, “As we all know the Covid-19 pandemic is still at large globally, prevention measures are a high priority. However, given the significance of cricket in the region, I have asked SLC to consult the Covid-19 task force and reconsider the BCB’s matter.”

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