The coronavirus pandemic has widened the world's vocabulary by driving words such as lockdown, quarantine and isolation into daily use. The latest buzzword is bio-secure bubble.
The England and Wales Cricket Board first introduced the term as they prepared to host the West Indies in what would be the first cricket series following the outbreak of the coronavirus earlier this year.
The ECB successfully managed the complex process of creating a bio-secure bubble, which is basically a bio-secure environment that is designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The 'bubbles' are sealed off from the outside world, with players, staff and officials on the inside.
Normally bio-secure bubbles aim to minimise the risk of transmission of the virus from one person to another while training, staying together or having meals during ongoing tournaments and training camps and it is prescribed by the International Cricket Council.
With the Bangladesh aiming to return to cricket through the upcoming Sri Lanka tour, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has already started a residential camp for its 27-member preliminary squad by creating a bio-secure bubble with frequent coronavirus testing.
It can still be hard for the general public to understand what goes on inside the bubble, so The Daily Star tried to get insights on the experience from Bangladeshi cricketers who have been inside a bubble at a city hotel since September 20, when the BCB initiated the residential camp.
"It's like a different world. The first and the most important thing about the bubble is that we are not allowed to go outside the hotel premises. We are not allowed to even have any food from outside, not even chocolates or chips. We have a dedicated lift for players," a national cricketer requesting anonymity said.
"We have our meals in the hotel and when we are at the restaurant, there is no one from outside. Even the hotel staff who serve us maintain social distancing. After having breakfast, I go to gym or swimming in a restricted environment. When we go to the ground, we have to take alternative exit routes to avoid crowds."
According to many cricketers, it was a challenge initially but one that they later adjusted with.
Although the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka is still under dark clouds as the Sri Lanka Cricket officials are yet to provide revised health protocols for the tour, it is understood that the Tigers -- who previously planned to travel to the island nation on September 27 -- are now expected to delay.
It was learned that SLC officials had tried to relax the mandatory 14-day quarantine for the visitors, but government health authorities led by the Covid-19 task force of Sri Lanka were unwilling.
If that is the case, then the tour of Sri Lanka could well get postponed. But the Bangladeshi cricketers who got a taste of living in a bio-secure environment will surely help the Tigers to cope with similar situations in the coming days as we have already stepped into a new normal.