21 September 2020
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Bangladesh’s forthcoming Test series in Sri Lanka was thrown
into doubt on Monday after its cricket chief rejected the coronavirus
restrictions imposed by the hosts.

The three Tests in October-November were meant to mark the
two nations’ return to international cricket after a months-long lockdown
halted professional sports worldwide.

But Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan
said Sri Lanka’s conditions, which include 14 days of isolation for players
after arrival — during which practising would be forbidden — were
unacceptable.

“The proposal we received is… not even close to what we agreed upon,” Hassan told reporters in Dhaka. “Under these conditions, it is not possible for us to play the Test championship… This is not even close to what is being followed in some other parts of the world where cricket is being played during this time.”

Mendatory quarantine

Sri Lanka has a compulsory 14-day quarantine at a
government-nominated facility, which includes some hotels, for everyone
entering the country.

Hassan said players had been unable to train together after
all sporting activities in Bangladesh were suspended in March to stem the spread
of the virus.

Training resumed in July, but only one player and a trainer
are allowed inside Dhaka’s main stadium at a time as a precaution.

“Our players have not been in training for seven
months. If we can’t train… then it’s not possible to play a Test,” he
added.

Sri Lanka’s Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa told his
country’s cricket board to work with the health department to try and find a
way around the strict quarantine procedures.

“Given the significance of #cricket in the region, I
have asked @OfficialSLC to consult the covid task force and reconsider the
@BCBtigers matter, Rajapaksa tweeted.

There was no immediate comment from the Sri Lankan board.

Hassan’s comments came a week after opening batsman Saif
Hasan tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of a planned training camp before
their scheduled departure for Sri Lanka.

Abdul Gh Lone

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