President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Sourav Ganguly has been put in home quarantine after his elder brother Snehasish Ganguly tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday.
Avishek Dalmiya, president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), is also in home quarantine as he had come in contact with Snehasish Ganguly who is the association’s joint general secretary, according to Indian media.
Former Bengal cricketer Snehasish Ganguly, 55, was admitted to a city hospital on Wednesday night.
“He was suffering from fever for the last few days and his test report came positive Wednesday evening and he has been admitted to Belle Vue Hospital,” a CAB official said.
In a recent interview, Sourav Ganguly, who turned 48 last week, had mentioned that since his brother visits their factories daily, he was a greater risk of getting the virus.
With the ICC Under-19 World Cup triumph beating India in the final last year, Bangladesh tasted their maiden World Cup in any level of international cricket, which prompted them to think more seriously about the next edition of the event.
Khaled Mahmud, the chairman of game development department of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), said on Wednesday the board planned to start preparing for the next U-19 World Cup which is scheduled to be played in 2022 in West Indies.
“We have been thinking about the next of the U-19 World Cup. We are just 16 months away from this event. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have lost a few months. So we have to plan accordingly. Coronavirus situation is still not under our control. It’s tough for us to arrange a big camp in this situation. If the situation gets better after Eid, and we secure board’s clearance and government’s green signal, we may start the camp after Eid,” Mahmud told media after a meeting of BCB game development department.
“We have also talked about the team who won the last U-19 World Cup in South Africa. We have a big plan to help them go to the next level. And at the same time, we are planning to host a longer version cricket event for the zonal champions of school cricket,” he added.
There is no Bangladesh U-19 team currently. The selectors have to form one from a youth cricket tournament, which is not possible due to the coronavirus situation. So the board has decided to arrange a camp and select a team comprising promising cricketers.
“We can’t reveal an exact time when we can start the camp. We are trying to secure the service of Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishthan (BKSP) to host the camp in Agust only if the situation allows. We have to lock the whole area to host a bio-secure camp. Let’s see what we can come up with after Eid,” Mahmud said.
All the cricketing activities are on hold in Bangladesh from mid-March due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
However, from early next week, cricketers might be able to start fitness training at Sher-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur. As the chief physician of BCB Debashis Chowdhury told the media that the board prepared Sher-e-Bangla for individual fitness training.
“We are trying to figure out how many cricketers are joining in this personal training programme. It will be easy to plan the schedule. For now, cricketers can work on their fitness only, and we have prepared everything needed for that,” Chowdhury told the media on Tuesday.
Three Bangladeshi players -- ODI captain Tamim Iqbal, T20 captain Mahmudullah Riyad and bowling sensation Mustafizur Rahman--recently have recently turned down offers to play in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) beginning August 18.
The six-team eighth version of the CPL, the domestic Twenty20 cricket league of West Indies, which was initially scheduled to be played in six islands, will now take place in Trinidad.
The local government approved the CPL, scheduled for August 18 to September 10, with all the matches taking place at two venues in Trinidad in closed doors.
Tamim Iqbal made his first and only appearance in the league in 2013 for St Lucia Zouks while Mahmudullah played in the CPL for Jamaica Tallawahs in 2017.
Left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman is yet to make his maiden appearance in the CPL.
"I decided not to accept the offer firstly because of my commitment to Dhaka Premier League, which was suspended after the first round in last March due to Covid-19 pandemic. It may resume any time and we are all waiting for it " Tamim said.
"There is also the another issue with travelling. Due to the Covid-19 there is lot of restriction on travel and the route to West Indies is very long. Say I make it to the islands but there is an emergency in my family, I will not be able to return easily. I do not want to take that risk," Tamim added.
"One of the CPL teams approached me, but our domestic competition, the Dhaka Premier League, could start any time, and it will likely clash with the CPL, that's why I decided not to go," Tamim further said.
"I was very close to signing with one of the teams but my family is my main concern, and they are also worried about me traveling during this time," Mahmudullah said. "I have played in the CPL previously and have always enjoyed my experience there."
Former captain of Bangladesh national cricket team Mashrafe Bin Mortaza has tested negative for COVID-19.
Mashrafe himself broke the news on social media on Tuesday after receiving his report. However, his wife, Sumona Haque Sumi, is still infected.
Along with Mashrafe, his younger brother, Morsalin Bin Mortaza, also tested negative on the same day.
“Praise be to Allah. With the blessings of God and prayers of you all, I have tested negative for COVID-19. I came to know the result this night. My gratitude to all those who have been by my side during this tough time,” Mashrafe wrote on his official social media page.
“However, my wife has been tested positive again despite passing two weeks after being positive for the first time. But she has been doing well. Keep her in your prayers,” Mashrafe added.
Mashrafe’s social media statement also reads that he recovered from COVID-19 by getting treatment at home. He advised all to keep courage and follow the doctor's guideline.
Not just Mashrafe, cricketer Najmul Islam Apu and former Bangladesh opener Nafis Iqbal had also been tested positive for COVID-19, but now both them have recovered.
Coronavirus has claimed more than 2,000 lives in Bangladesh and about two lakh people have been infected with the virus.
Also read: Mashrafe infected with coronavirus
While almost all of the private cricket academies in Dhaka have stopped cricketing activities after the Covid-19 outbreak leaving coaches and support staff struggling financially, the third-division club Dhanmondi Cricket Academy has taken an initiative to help people associated with them.
Considering the situation, the academy decided to form a COVID-19 fund to deliver remuneration of coaches on a regular basis. To do so, they asked the parents of current students, former students and club members to contribute.
“We have been trying to establish a good cricket club for 20-22 years. There are six support staff including a head coach, two assistant coaches, an office manager and two groundsmen, who have also been working hard for the club,” Abu Mohammad Sabur, the president of Dhanmondi Cricket Academy told UNB on Tuesday.
“Saif Hassan, one of our students, is now in the national team. More students of our club are part of several age-level teams of Bangladesh Cricket Board. We are happy for our students, and we believe many more will succeed. So the intention of making it a good cricket club prompted us to help the people during this crisis. We can’t leave those who teach our children to become good cricketers struggling. We don’t have any intention to make it a profitable company. In fact, it’s a non-profit organisation. We would like to keep helping them till the situation gets better,” he added.
Sabur said they spent about Tk 6-7 lakhs to renovate the club and practising facilities. About 75 students take the initiation of the game of cricket at the Dhanmondi Cricket Academy.
“I have close contact with many coaches who work for private cricket academies in Dhaka. Most of them are struggling due to the pandemic because of their academies are not paying them now. In contrast, the Dhanmondi Cricket Academy has been paying salaries of all staff despite the pandemic. The academy authorities told us that they will keep doing this until the pandemic ends,” Sadiquzzaman Pintu, the head coach of Dhanmondi Cricket Academy, told UNB.
“More than 70 cricketers learn cricket at this academy. Many of them play in age-level cricket under Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), and many of them play in the third divisional league as well. All facilities of the academy are free for the cricketers who play in the age-level or at the third divisional league. I don’t know if any academy in Dhaka does the same for their students,” Sadiquzzaman added.