Despite waiting for about two weeks, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is yet to provide the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) with a positive response regarding the proposed three-match Test series which is a part of the ongoing World Test Championship. As per the latest update, BCB is still waiting for a set of health guidelines that the SLC will obtain from the Sri Lankan counterpart of our COVID-19 taskforce/technical advisory committee.
If BCB finds these guidelines to be reasonable, the tour can still go ahead. The SLC has already made clear that it cannot brook any request for deviation from the guidelines stipulated by their Health Department.
Therefore if BCB finds any condition too restrictive, the SLC would rather postpone the series till next year.
During a media interaction on Saturday, chairman of cricket operation department of BCB, Akram Khan, told the media that they are hoping to fly for Sri Lanka within 7-10 of October, which means the series is still on but the schedule may see another change. As per the current schedule, the first Test of this series would take place from October 24.
“We have discussed our next plan with the coach, selectors and CEO. Since we are unable to fly for Sri Lanka on September 27, we opted to leave the players for three days. We’ll resume the training after three days, and we hope, we’ll get a response from SLC,” Akram Khan told the media on Saturday at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
“We didn’t get any update from Sri Lanka. And we know that this is out of the control of SLC. They are depending on the decision of the health department of Sri Lanka. SLC is hoping that they’ll get a response from their health department within the next three days. We’ve decided to wait for more,” Akram added.
While BCB is waiting for a positive response from Sri Lanka, SLC’s CEO Ashley Silva had said that they are bound to abide by their health department. He also had said that if BCB denies following the guidelines what will be provided by the health department, the series might see postponement.
“Whatever the feedback which we would get from the Covid-19 task force, will be shared with the BCB. If BCB is not prepared to abide by those guidelines given by the task force, then we would be compelled to call off the tour and reschedule the tour during the same cycle maybe for next year or the following year,” Ashley told a local media in a recent interview.
However, Akram Khan, says if everything goes according to the changed plan, the Bangladesh national team will fly for Sri Lanka within 7-10 October.
“We have enough time to play this series. Sri Lanka was preparing to host a T20 league which was rescheduled. Since both BCB and SLC have enough time, we are hopeful to play this series,” Akram further told the media.
This series was originally scheduled for July-August this year. But due to the deadly outbreak of the Covid-19 around the globe, both the boards decided to reschedule it in October-November. But now, the series is facing a deadlock due to the strict 14-day mandatory quarantine period set by the health department of Sri Lanka.
BCB has urged SLC to reduce the quarantine period in seven days, but they are unable to do so avoiding the government health protocol. Not just for Bangladesh team, Sri Lanka is maintaining this health protocol for everyone who enters the island nation during the pandemic.