Chaminda Vaas and two players test COVID-19 positive, BAN vs SL series in doubt
The first ODI is scheduled to take place in Dhaka on May 23.
Updated - May 23, 2021 10:44 am
Bangladesh is set to host Sri Lanka in the first ODI of the three-match series on Sunday (May 23). The opening encounter is scheduled to take place at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka. However, dark clouds are looming over the game, and the entire series as multiple members in the Sri Lankan squad have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
As per reports, Sri Lanka bowling coach Chaminda Vaas, pacer Isuru Udana and uncapped fast bowler Shiran Fernando contracted the virus ahead of the first ODI. This means the bio-secure bubble has been breached, and subsequently, the Lankan team is now awaiting the results of a second RT-PCR test. Although any official announcement is yet to come, the opening game, which is scheduled to start at 12:30 PM IST, is unlikely to go ahead.
Kusal Perera to led Sri Lanka in the series
Meanwhile, all the three ODIs in the tour are slated to take place at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium due to safety concerns. Ahead of the series, Kusal Perera replaced Dimuth Karunaratne as Sri Lanka’s ODI captain, and the latter even got dropped more the side. Moreover, veterans like Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, and Lahiru Thirimanne have been dropped from the side with several young faces given a chance. Hence, the visiting side isn’t daunting on paper and is underdogs for the series.
The bubble in Dhaka is compromised as Chaminda Vaas, Isuru Udana and Shiran Fernando test positive for COVID. The three match series that was supposed to start today is in doubt. Team awaiting results of second PCR test.
— Rex Clementine (@RexClementine) May 23, 2021
On the other hand, Bangladesh added some big names to strengthen their side even further. While star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman were welcomed back to the side, the team already had big guns like skipper Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, and Mahmudullah. Hence, the Tigers will be confident of getting the better of the inexperienced Sri Lankan side.
While Tamim Iqbal’s men are deemed favourites for the series, their last outing against Sri Lanka wasn’t a pleasant one. They travelled to the island nation last month for two Tests and got defeated. While the opening clash ended in a draw, the home team walked away with a 209-run triumph in the second game, winning the series 1-0. However, limited-overs cricket is a different ball game, and Bangladesh will be determined to redeem themselves.
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