Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan has said that the national cricket team will not be touring Sri Lanka for the upcoming series as the BCB could not agree to the quarantine protocols set by Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka had asked for a strict 14-day quarantine for the Tigers and without permission to continue training. BCB president had said that the protocols were not acceptable and the SLC then met with the island nation's Covid-19 taskforce in order to find a solution and get international cricket back on to the field.
However, SLC (Sri Lanka Cricket) CEO Ashley Silva later said that if BCB were not willing to abide by protocols set by the country's Covid-19 task force, the tour will be called off and rescheduled.
"The guidelines that they had given, it's not possible to play a Test Championship under those conditions. Their cricket board and sports ministry tried their best and they agreed to all bar one of our requests. But the one they denied was the most important, the 14-day quarantine period. What we understand by quarantine and isolation are different. When one isolates with Covid-19, they can't get out of the room so what they saying as quarantine for 14 days is full isolation," Hassan told the media today.
"So under those conditions, a player's mental and physical conditions will take a lot of time to recover. So we had let them know that it wasn't possible to play under such conditions. However they couldn't do anything about that protocol since the government makes the rules and that is the protocol in their country," Hassan added.
"They let us know about the situation yesterday and we've also informed them that the tour should be rescheduled. When the conditions will not be as it is right now, we will go," the BCB president reiterated.
BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury said the decision to defer the tour became necessary as the current Covid-19 health guidelines for visitors in Sri Lanka would not have allowed the Bangladesh Team to adequately prepare for a Test series: "We have always maintained that preparation of the team was a priority as the players are coming off a six-month gap from any cricket due to the COVID-19 situation in the country. We never considered fielding an unprepared side in international cricket.
"The BCB is respectful to the health and safety requirements of every country during the pandemic and had requested SLC to consider a more flexible form of quarantine for the Bangladesh Team in Sri Lanka so that it could start training as a group as early as possible upon arrival. However, from their response we understand that the Ministry of Health of the Sri Lanka Government at the moment was not in a position to make exemptions to its latest 'Health Guideline' and that the same restrictions applicable to general visitors will remain in place for the Bangladesh Team which includes a mandatory 14-day strict quarantine in respective rooms of the hotel on reaching.
"After a careful review of the guideline, the BCB has communicated to the SLC that the circumstances do not allow us to proceed with the tour at this stage.
"We appreciate SLC and the Sri Lanka Ministry of Sports' positive approach to the issues concerning the holding of the series despite the many challenges due to the pandemic situation," Nizamuddin said via a BCB press release.
Since the tour is not taking place, the BCB will emphasize the start of domestic leagues. The BCB are reportedly looking to begin The Dhaka Premier League (DPL) in November this year.