Monday, September 13US News

BCB ready to host Aussies amid strictest Covid protocols

Bangladesh Cricket Board [BCB] has left no stones unturned

Hosts Bangladesh and visitors Australia cricket team got down to business at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Sunday heading to a five-match T20I series set to begin on Tuesday. Both Bangladesh and Australia teams attended their first practice session at the home of cricket following three-day room quarantine and upon returning negative in Covid-19 tests.

Bangladesh Cricket Board [BCB] has left no stones unturned in order to ensure the health safety of the Australian cricketers. The two boards had agreed to the bilateral series based on an understanding the hosts have to set a strict Covid-19 protocol and BCB respected the agreement to the fullest.

Two hours before the Australia cricket team reached SBNS for the practice session on Sunday, a small team of officials of the visitors had reached the venue to ensure the areas are arranged properly. The officials ensured sanitization of dressing room and the practice facilities and also to put the areas off limits to anyone local or if particularly said, the BCB.

Restricting entry to the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium and open only two days ahead of the series start, no production crew or cameras allowed in field of play, DRS [Decision Review System] technician not to sit with the Match Referee during matches and keeping the hotel in Dhaka only to the two teams and match officials are only few of the unique measures that BCB has agreed to with Cricket Australia for the series to go ahead.

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As a part of the agreement the BCB had kept around 140 people in quarantine since July 21. Among the number, 85 have stayed in team hotel while around 40 groundsmen were put in quarantine at SBNS. The boards were strict that no one was added to this group after the said date for which Bangladesh in the series is missing batsmen Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das. The two cricketers couldn’t keep to the terms set for the bio secured bubble.

BCB chief curator Gamini de Silva will have to work remotely in the series given the Sri Lankan arrived in Dhaka on July 28. The groundsmen will be taking instructions from Gamini over phone.

The measures have been to the extent where even the BCB directors had to sacrifice their luxury while coming to the stadium on a game day. The tourists are not ready to accept anyone local using their passage as a precautionary measure.

The directors and officials cannot enter the SBNS through their usual passage and gate on match days. Usually, BCB directors and officials enter the gate using the Gate 2 or the VIP gate and use the entrance inside the stadium through same pathway that’s used by the teams.

But now they will have to come into the stadium through Gate 3 and come through an alternative way to the President’s Box or the BCB office.

As per report only BCB president Nazmul Hasan will be able to come to the ground through the VIP gate and use the VIP lift to the President’s Box as well.

The series is the first ever bilateral T20 series between Bangladesh and Australia.

The tour is Australia’s fourth ever tour of Bangladesh and their first visit since 2017 after their proposed Test campaign here last year was called off due to the pandemic.

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