Bangladesh’s Sri Lanka tour postponed amid COVID fears

Bangladesh’s Sri Lanka tour postponed amid COVID fears

The Tigers were set to play three Tests in July.

Sri Lanka cricketer Kusal Mendis and Bangladesh wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim
Sri Lanka cricketer Kusal Mendis and Bangladesh wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The COVID-19 pandemic has played spoilsport to yet another cricket series. This time around, Bangladesh’s tour of Sri Lanka had to be postponed due to the ungodly virus. The Bangladesh Cricket Board and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) took the decision, citing lack of preparations.

The Tigers were scheduled to play three Tests in July, but the BCB was of the opinion that ‘a conducive environment has still not arrived for the players to take part in an international cricket series.’ Akram Khan, the BCB operations chairman said that chances of the series going ahead as per schedule were low.

“Yes, we had spoken with some of the players and they did not show any interest [to tour during that point of time]. I think chances are very slim about the Sri Lanka tour commencing on a scheduled time frame,” Akram was quoted as saying in Cricbuzz.

Bangladesh missing out on cricket

Earlier, New Zealand’s tour of Bangladesh in August also had to be deferred, bearing in mind the current scenario. The Tests in Sri Lanka were a part of the ICC Test Championship where the Tigers are yet to open their account after three matches.

In the pandemic situation, they have missed out on quite some Test cricket. Their second Test against Pakistan at the National Stadium in Karachi couldn’t take place at a time when the coronavirus was starting to wreak havoc. It was supposed to be the third leg of their Pakistan tour and their ODI in Karachi was also cancelled.

Moreover, their home series against Australia couldn’t take place either. Among cricketers, Mashrafe Mortaza, the former Tigers’ skipper, Nafees Iqbal, brother of Bangladesh ODI captain Tamim Iqbal, and Nazmul Islam Apu were tested positive for COVID-19. In the country, over 1,19,000 have been affected with the virus with 1,545 losing their lives.

Around 47,635 have recovered though. Globally, the virus has affected 9.24 million and over 4.7 lakhs deaths have been reported thus far. In the grave global scenario, the cricketers from around Bangladesh have come forward.

Earlier, they donated half their cricket salary for the COVID fight. The likes of Mashrafe, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and others have also auctioned off some of their prized possessions to help the needy and underprivileged.