Bilateral series not a priority

Staff Correspondent | Published: 21:56, May 20,2020


Nazmul Hasan

ICC events are the first priority for Bangladesh, not bilateral series, said Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan, which once again put Bangladesh’s Sri Lanka tour in July at risk.

Sri Lanka Cricket was yet to postpone their home series against India in June and the three-Test series against Bangladesh in July and their keenness came as a ray of hope for Bangladesh cricket, as it could have brought an end to the cricketing shutdown the country has been in since March.

But the BCB president didn’t want to rush Bangladesh’s return to international cricket as he felt Sri Lanka’s eagerness to host was not enough to go through with the tour.

‘No discussion about restarting the game so far. How can we discuss, I can’t provide any possible date like we will play in July or August,’ Nazmul told reporters on Wednesday.

‘Sri Lanka said that they want to host, but it does not only depend on their will right now. We have to take a lot of critical decisions. How the players will travel, where the players will be staying, will we be able to send them or not, so many questions need answers,’ he said.

ICC is set to hold a conference on May 28, where all the stake holders and affiliated member board’s representatives will join and Nazmul indicated that the main focus of the meeting would be the rescheduling of ICC events.

‘Now the talks are about rescheduling the [Twenty20] World Cup. In this predicament it’s very hard to say something about bilateral series. I mean to say, we don’t even know when the ICC events will take place. We have to plan or schedule accordingly.

‘It’s a very complex task. But the situation is equal for everyone. We will try to keep as many series possible from the previous schedule,’ he said.

Sri Lanka was hoping for a return of international cricket in their shores as early as June owing to the comparatively better COVID-19 situation in their country.

But Nazmul was not convinced as the virus situation in a country could very easily change in a matter of days.

‘A place is safe today but it might not be safe tomorrow, because the virus spreading is recurring.  No one can tell when it will end or predict what the situation will be.’

Bangladesh has already missed out from fair bit of cricket due to the pandemic, as their one Test and one-day international against Pakistan got postponed, the home series against Australia and the tour to Ireland got deferred.

The BCB, however, was not proactive about taking the decision to resume cricket, rather it wanted to take the role of observer and make decisions according to what other countries were doing, said the president. 

‘We will observe others. We will see what ICC is doing, what ACC is doing,’ said Nazmul while handing  over 501 cheques of Tk 10,000 each to state minister of youth and sports Zahid Ahsan Russell as part of the BCB’s initiative to support sportspersons affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The cheques were distributed to athletes of 23 sports federations under the National Sports Council other than cricket.

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