Bangladesh national cricket team started a week-long residential camp on Sunday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium ahead of the Sri Lanka tour for a three-match Test series which is a part of the ongoing World Test Championship.
The Tigers played their last international game back in March this year. Now, after a long hiatus of 193 days forced by Covid-19, Tigers hit the field again as a team.
Bangladesh team is due to fly for Sri Lanka on September 27. Before that, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is hosting a week-long residential camp at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
The tour, however, still has a cloud over it as the BCB and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) are yet to finalize a quarantine plan for touring Bangladesh team. As per the Sri Lankan regulation, a 14-day quarantine is a must for everyone who enters Sri Lanka aiming to stop the spread of the Covid-19 in the island nation.
BCB has urged SLC to trim the quarantine period to seven days. But the health department of Sri Lanka refused to allow this. However, SLC is still negotiating with its health department to trim the quarantine period. BCB said they are hopeful of a positive response from SLC within the next few days.
“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. We hope to get a positive response from them as soon as possible,” Jalal Younus, the chairman of BCB media and communication committee told the media last week.
BCB has announced a 27-member squad for skill training. Of them, 16 players joined the camp on Sunday. 10 of the remaining players are in isolation with Covid-19 suspicion. They will undergo a Covid-19 test on September 22 with all members of the team.
“It’s good they came to the field as a team after a long time. The time during the lockdown was tough because we were away from game and practice. But we have worked a lot to keep ourselves fit. Now we have started skill training as well which feels good,” Mahmudullah Riyad told the media.
During the lockdown, Mahmudullah shared many video footage on his social media handles where he was seen to work hard to keep his fitness at great shape. He said: “One of the things that I worked more on during the lockdown is my fitness. I tried to take my fitness to the next level. I have followed a guideline which was provided by our physio and trainer. But now, I am working on my skill. I believe that performance is based on both fitness and skill.”
This series was originally scheduled for July-August, but due to the deadly outbreak of Covid-19, the series was rescheduled in October-November. However, the official dates and venues of the matches are yet to be revealed.
Bangladesh played three matches of the World Test Championship and lost all of them. So the Sri Lanka tour, if it happens as planned, will be a big chance for the Tigers to bounce back in the event.