Bangladesh Cricket Board Shuns Sri Lanka Cricket's Bio-bubble Measures, Oct Tour In Doubt

Bangladesh Cricket Board has rejected Sri Lanks's tour offer in October. The countries have been in talks for a while but could not agree on quarantine rules.

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International cricket resuming in the Indian subcontinent could be delayed further as the Bangladesh Cricket Board has rejected Sri Lanka's terms for a tour in October. The countries have been in talks for a while, but have not been able to agree on some of the conditions for the tour. The proposed tour would consist of 3 Test matches sometime in October 2020.

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SL vs Ban 2020 series in jeopardy over quarantine rules?

Since the tour will take place under the conditions of social distancing and being quarantined, the teams must agree upon the rules of living during the tournament to ensure the safety of the teams. In light of this, Sri Lanka Cricket had suggested some stringent rules, similar to the IPL 2020, for quarantine and social distancing. In a letter sent to the Bangladesh Cricket Board, they have stated that the team will have to quarantine for a period of 14 days after reaching Bangladesh. During this time, they will be confined to their rooms, with no exception for meals or intra-squad training. The BCCI has imposed a similar 14-day quarantine on all players before the IPL.

However, the Bangladesh cricket board has made it clear that they find Sri Lanka's protocols excessive and unnecessary.  BCB President Nazmul Hassan has said in an official statement that - “Under no circumstances can a World Test Championship take place with conditions such as this. It’s not as we expected and it didn’t match the conditions of other countries where cricket is going on. This is an ICC Test Championship. I think there is a big gap in how we (the two boards) are thinking" 

He has also said that Bangladesh are open to discuss the terms put forth by Sri Lanka but will not go ahead with the tour under the current set of protocols. The two main issues, according to Hasan are, firstly that no intra-squad practice will be allowed in the quarantine period, and secondly, Sri Lanka will not provide throwers or net bowlers while still expecting Bangladesh to travel with less than 30 people, including team staff.

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SL vs Ban 2020: Rules for quarantine on other ongoing tours, IPL 2020

Hasan's claims that other international cricket series going on around the world require only seven days of quarantine, may be misguided. During Pakistan's tour of England in June, the Pakistani cricket team were quarantined for 14 days and could only fly to England after returning with two negative tests. They were also kept in bio-secure conditions for a period leading up to the tour and were only allowed to practice after the required 14-day quarantine. West Indies also quarantined for 14 days on their tour of England. 

At the IPL 2020, teams have been told to follow strict quarantine rules. Each member of each team was relegated to their hotel rooms for 14 days and asked to return with 3 negative COVID tests before they could start practice. The rules have been successful at rooting out COVID-19 positive players, which could allow the tournament to begin on Saturday without any major issues. The first match of the IPL 2020 will take place in Abu Dhabi.

Should Bangladesh cancel their tour of Sri Lanka, it could well mean that cricket would only return through the Sri Lanka Premier League 2020 later this year.

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Image Credits: Bangladesh Cricket Board Twitter

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