The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will face the challenge of hosting a second international series against the backdrop of the pandemic and preparations for the upcoming ODI series against Sri Lanka are well underway.
The BCB successfully hosted the West Indies for three ODIs and two Tests earlier this year in the first instance of Bangladesh hosting an international series since the outbreak of Covid-19 led to the halt of sporting activities in the country in March, 2020.
The board was also working on shortening the mandatory 14-day quarantine for Shakib Al Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman, who returned from India after the Indian Premier League was suspended. The cricketers have been staying in separate hotels since arriving to Dhaka on May 6.
However, the main challenge for the BCB will be to iron out any issues related to the broadcast of the series as the quarantine protocols for the broadcasting crew can prove to be tricky for the board. The BCB invited a fresh tender for a two-year deal on April 28, with the bidding process slated to be held on May 17. Since the board has already announced that the first of the three ODIs will begin on May 23, that leaves just five days to arrange things following the bidding.
Normally, the BCB hires crew members from India and South Africa but, according to Bangladesh's health protocols, individuals arriving from these countries have undergo a 14-day quarantine, which complicates matters.
"It is obviously going to be a challenge for us. According to government health protocols, it is difficult to bring in an Indian crew in the current context considering the 14-day quarantine protocol. However, we are trying to make arrangements with some of our other sources and we are hopeful about it. But it is too early for us to make a concrete comment over the issue as the work is still in progress," BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury told The Daily Star yesterday.
The three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka is also part of the ICC's World Super League and the presence of a Decision Review System (DRS) is a necessary requirement. Normally the technicians who operate the DRS system come from South Africa and if that remains the case, the 14-day quarantine is also applicable there.