Will Bangladesh tour Sri Lanka?

Sports Correspondent

16th September, 2020 11:15:22 printer

Will Bangladesh tour Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is trying their best to make sure that that proposed three-match Test series against Bangladesh goes on as per schedule after clouds of uncertainty gathered over it in the recent past.

SLC entered into a consultative process with the authorities in the Health Ministry in Sri Lanka. As part of that process, a high-level delegation from SLC, headed by its President Shammi Silva called on Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Head of National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), Chief of Defense Staff and Commander of Sri Lankan Army on Tuesday afternoon.

The discussion explored possibilities to organise the international event prioritising highest standards of health safety while showing to the international community that their country is successful in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.

SLC President Shammi Silva, Secretary Ashley De Silva, CEO Daminda Attanayake, Team doctor Chandima Mapatuna, Head of International Cricket Chinthaka Edirimanne, Head of Domestic Cricket Major Tanesh B Dias and Head of HR and PA to President were present during the discussion at the Commander’s Office as Bangladesh tour to Sri Lanka for the Test series is still in doubt due to disagreements regarding quarantine period.

Sri Lankan authorities said that further rounds of discussions with health authorities will clear the fog surrounding the tour.

It was leant through sources that the Test series likely to proceed as per plan after Sri Lanka Cricket is planning to change their stance regarding their mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The Daily Sun understands that SLC has prepared a new bio-safety plan where they mentioned that they are willing to allow the tourists to practice during the seven days while in the first week, they will be isolated in the hotel unlike the initial plan where it was mentioned that cricketers will not be allowed to come out of the hotel room even the team meeting will have to be completed through Zoom video calls.

It was learnt that, according to the new bio-safety plan, cricketers will be allowed to practice even during the opening week of their arrival but they have to make sure they maintain social distance.

SLC have also mentioned that the tourists will be hosted in Hambantota as the ground is very close to the hotel while they will be shifted to Kandy only after the practice game against Sri Lanka A team, scheduled for October 18 to October 20.

The opening two Tests will be played in Kandy while the last Test is expected to be played in Colombo.

It was learnt that hosts have also decided to allow an increase in the number of member of the tourist delegation but they are not willing to host Bangladesh HP Unit simultaneously with the national team.

Bangladesh were planning to tour along with their HP squad as Tigers were planning to play some practice matches against their own HP Unit but now they will have to make do with the cricketers in the squad. Sri Lanka is now expected to permit 35 to 41 cricketers though initially they suggested that tourist cannot take more than 30 cricketers.

Bangladesh's tour of Sri Lanka, which was scheduled for July-August, was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bangladesh, as per the current plans, are expected to travel to Sri Lanka on September 27 for the three-Test series that is scheduled to start from October 23.

BCB is planning a week-long residential camp ahead of the tour which will mark the resumption of competitive cricket for both the sides. The residential camp is set to begin on September 21. BCB will conduct COVID-19 tests in four phases, with three tests scheduled for September 18, September 21 and September 24, and the final test is scheduled just 72 hours ahead of their flight to Sri Lanka.