Bangladesh mull COVID exit plan

Staff Correspondent | Published: 22:18, Apr 07,2020


Bangladesh batsman Mushfiqur Rahim gives a thumbs up after completing a training session at home on Tuesday. — Instagram photo

Bangladesh Cricket Board is chalking out a rehabilitation programme for the cricketers to facilitate their swift return to fitness for competitive cricket once the global coronavirus pandemic ceases.

The proposed action plan titled ‘Covid-19 Exit Strategy’ is a guideline which will create the route to peak physical fitness for the cricketers, who are now sitting idle during the current lockdown situation, said BCB’s chief physician Debashis Chowdhury.

‘All the cricketers are staying at home now. Though we have prepared a guideline for them, but as the situation extends, they will not be fit for competitive cricket after these idle days,’ Debashis told New Age on Tuesday.

The plan is laid out by BCB’s sports science and sports medicine working group comprised of Debashis, head of physical performance Nicholas Trevor Lee, conditioning coach Julian Calefato, Under-19 cricket team’s strength and conditioning coach Richard Stoiner and other members.

The module will be proposed to various bodies of the BCB, like cricket operations, game development and finally to BCB president Nazmul Hasan for approval.

Debashis believed if they get the green signal from the top and if the country’s situation permits, they can start implementing their two-part plan from May 1.

‘We have devised a two-and-a-half-month-long plan where we will be working with all the nationally contracted players, contracted first-class players and age level cricketers. The number will be more than 120,’ Debashis said.

‘First one month we will be doing reconditioning. As they were out of action for a long time, initially we have to bring them back to desired level. After one month, we will begin high intensity training which will run for another one and half months,’ he added.

By following the proposed model, the players will be fit and ready before the start of the National Cricket League in September, hoped Debashis.

‘As we have already introduced fitness tests and certain standard for taking part in National Cricket League, we must provide the scope to the cricketers to achieve that level. From September 1, our NCL is supposed to start. If situation permits, we can make them ready for the first-class tournament by that time,’ he said.

BCB, however, is also planning to restart the currently postponed Dhaka Premier League if the situation gets better and, in that case, the duration of the fitness model will be curbed down to one and a half months, said Debashis.

He also expressed that the proposal needed some fine-tuning before they send it to the top brass but they have decided where the cricketers will begin training to regain fitness after their home staying days end.

After the lockdown situation ends, the National team will train at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium while the divisional teams will carry out the instructions in their regional facilities, said Debashis.

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