Even with the world still in the throes of the coronavirus pandemic, cricket is preparing to make a return to the field of play. West Indies are all set to tour England for a three-match Test series next month while Sri Lankan have also begun training in Colombo. How and when training will resume in Bangladesh has become a point of interest as the safety of players amid the outbreak of the highly transmissible virus has taken centre stage. There are a few other issues such as when the national coaching staff will join the team, the future of the Tigers' international commitments and the potential resumption of the Dhaka Premier League. The Daily Star tries to analyse the current situation and the steps that the BCB are mulling on their way to making a return to cricket in the coming days.
THREE PLANS TO APPROACH RESUMING ON TRAINING
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has already published guidelines for the safe resumption of cricket.
The BCB are looking to come up with plans to start training activities while maintaining safety standards. The BCB's Chief Physician Debashish Chowdhury has chalked out three approaches to resuming training.
"It's becoming a challenge to keep cricketers fit. The situation hasn't improved much. BCB asked for plans and I have prepared three and will submit them and then the BCB will decide when they can start enacting them," Chowdhury said.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim had applied to the board to start individual training, but the board had refused, reasoning that even with individual training, there are other people involved in the process.
RETURN TO INTERNATIONAL SERIES
Bangladesh's third and final phase of the Pakistan tour was scheduled for the first week of April before being postponed. The series against Ireland, scheduled in May, along with the home series against Australia in June has been cancelled due to the pandemic.
Sri Lanka however seems optimistic about the Tigers' upcoming tour to their country in July. According to BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury, the board are in constant touch with the players and also the Sri Lankan board.
"Look it's a huge challenge for both boards as we are in constant touch with the Sri Lankan board and also with our players and we are expecting to get a decision by next week," Nizamuddin said.
He also said that the board will work on a priority basis on deciding upon their international commitments and as per the ICC guidelines.
RETURN OF NATIONAL COACHING STAFF
According to the BCB CEO, whenever international flights resume Bangladesh's coaching staff are expected to join the Bangladesh team.
"It depends on when the international flights resume. The physios and trainers are the ones to join the team first as they will work on the fitness aspect of the players initially. The board are in constant touch with the coaching staff and they are also monitoring the guidelines given to the players. There were also talk about salary cuts of the coaching staff and I would like to make it clear that only the board can take that decision but at the moment things are going as it was previously. There are a few who work on a day-to-day basis and it will also be worked out according to the situation," Nizamuddin said.
RESUMPTION OF THE DHAKA PREMIER LEAGUE
There has also been talk about whether the Dhaka Premier League (DPL) is expected to be the first to resume cricket in Bangladesh. The DPL was postponed after the first round due to the coronavirus but despite talks over the return of cricket through DPL, it is not going to be an easy task for the BCB.
"The priority will obviously be to start domestic competitions initially but it will all depend on the local situation. The most important aspect will be whether the players and the clubs are ready or not, as it's not just about ground facilities. It's not going to be easy as there are international players along with our local cricketers involved and we have to make sure about their safety as well," said Nizamuddin.