Following the successful completion of the first phase of individual practice sessions last month, under special arrangements made by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) across different venues, it is expected that more cricketers have now gained the confidence to return to the field from August 8. With an increase in the number of cricketers, the challenges of the BCB in ensuring a safe environment are also likely to increase.
Bangladesh national team and the BCB high-performance side are likely to tour Sri Lanka in October where the cricketers would like to resume playing after having stayed at home for over four months since all cricket activities in the county have been suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"It is going to be individual practice sessions (August 8) like we had last month. But we are expecting more cricketers. The setup will be the same like it was in the first phase but with an increase in the number of cricketers, we will have to increase our support staff and also follow the measures more strictly," BCB's chief physician Debashish Chowdhury told the media.
With the cricketers gearing for a return to international cricket, it would however require more work at the backend with a totally different setup and logistical measures when it comes to practising as a unit.
"We will have to come up with a totally different plan and setup if we look to start team practice sessions. We will have to create a bio-bubble, take the squad into isolation keeping them in a hotel with other logistic support.
"That will be a different level of operation to look into. Doing that right away with the likely tour of Sri Lanka in October will mean the cricketers will have to be kept away from home for almost three months. That will not be wise as far as the mental health is concerned," the BCB physician added.
Considering the challenges, the national squad may not practice in the capital and the team is likely to gather only before leaving the country and have their first practice session as a unit in Sri Lanka.
Apart from the three-match Test series in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh are also likely to play a T20I series. The chairman of BCB cricket operation Akram Khan informed that they are in constant touch with the Sri Lankan board.
"Discussion between BCB and SLC is taking place regularly about the new schedule and hopefully everything will be finalised soon. Earlier, we were only scheduled to play a three-Test series but now we are also trying to add some [shorter-version] matches and we have included that point in the new discussion which started after the suspension of ICC World T20. The tour can take place either in September-October or October-November and we are working on it. A lot of things are to be taken into consideration before finalising the tour,'' Akram said.
Meanwhile Bangladesh ODI captain Tamim Iqbal has kept himself in self-quarantine since he returned to Dhaka from London on Saturday following a health check-up. The left-handed opener has been asked by the immigration to maintain self-quarantine for two weeks till August 14.
Tamim on June 25 had travelled to London for treatment after experiencing severe intestinal pain.
"I had a small discussion with Tamim after he returned. I am still to look into his report and know of the details. He has been put in self-quarantine imposed by the government," said Debashish.