Australia’s Bangladesh tour hangs in the balance
With no immediate decision from Cricket Australia over their upcoming tour of Bangladesh after the second ODI between Australia and West Indies at Barbados was cancelled due to a non-playing member of the Windies staff testing positive for Covid-19, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) still remains hopeful to host the Aussies in scheduled time.
However, clouds have already started to hover over the tour and a lot will depend on the outcome of the COVID-19 tests on Friday. According to Australian media, if any member of the Australian side tests positive, there is a possibility their tour to Bangladesh will become uncertain.
"Many media have said that there is doubt about the series but there has been no such communication yet from Cricket Australia after the cancellation of the second ODI today. Hopefully, the series will begin on time," BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury told The Daily Star yesterday.
"In the new normal, everyone is facing such situations and we don't know how they are managing it from afar. But BCB has ensured that we can hold a series during these times. I talked to the CEO of CA on Thursday and they seemed very optimistic. If there were any immediate decision then we would have been informed for sure."
CA had wanted BCB to arrange the matches in a single venue and with all the matches set to be played at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. The BCB had already announced the tight schedule of the five match T20I series -- from August 3 till August 9 -- where the Aussies are set to arrive in Dhaka on July 29.
Meanwhile, CA and BCB had also agreed to 10-day quarantine in a bio-secure bubble ahead of the series, but in order to maintain that protocol it puts Bangladesh's experienced Mushfiqur Rahim's participation in serious doubt.
On July 14th, Mushfiqur had to leave the team's bio-bubble in Harare and return to Bangladesh and thus was unable to meet the quarantine requirements. "According to the conditions put forward by CA regarding the quarantine period, Mushfiqur does not qualify since he had to leave the bubble. We are still holding talks on whether Mushfiqur can play the series. There are some grey areas," said Nizamuddin.