Bangladesh Cricket Board was adamant to continue their cricketing shutdown despite the government’s declaration of ending the general holidays as the board believed the risk of infections was still high.
After the two-month long general holiday, which was imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country, the government recently decided to lift it in a limited capacity.
But BCB’s chairman of cricket operations Akram Khan said that the board was not planning to start any activities of the national team anytime soon keeping the safety of the players in mind.
‘At our end, the situation is very critical and risky,’ the former Bangladesh skipper told New Age on Friday.
On May 22, the International Cricket Council published a guideline about resumption of cricket where clear directives were given about how to resume cricket.
Australia is set to resume domestic cricket in a week’s time, through a Twenty20 tournament in Northern Territory starting on June 6, where the players will have to follow strict health codes with use of saliva or sweat for shinning the ball also being restricted.
At present, Australia is not in a high risk zone of the pandemic with only 488 active cases of COVID-19 according to Worldometer.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, saw 23 more deaths on Friday which upped the total death toll to 582 with above 33,000 active cases.
With the pandemic situation of the country worsening, Akram felt Bangladesh could not follow the footsteps of Australia, even if they followed the ICC guidelines.
‘ICC gave a guideline, that’s their job to do… you will hold us accountable if any of the players got infected after we resume training,’ Akram said.
ICC also prescribed a step by step guideline of the necessary precautions for the cricketers to take before returning to practice.
The players were instructed to use sanitisers and get their temperatures checked before entering the practice area, not share personal equipment with others and begin training in a group of three and then increase it up to 10 if everything fits the bill.
But Akram said that the BCB won’t depend entirely on the ICC prescription and will ask suggestions from their own medical team before allowing the players to restart training.
‘We have our medical team, we will seek guidelines from them and will try to act accordingly,’ he said.
Bangladeshi cricketers are staying at home as part of health protocols and have been out of cricket since the suspension of the Dhaka Premier League.
Keeping fit while staying indoors is proving to be a challenge for the players with only a handful of them having gym equipment at their home while others were using makeshift equipment and free hand exercises.
Akram admitted that the players were getting rusty but claimed that they were under continuous scrutiny of fitness trainers.
‘They are not getting a chance to practice batting or bowling, that’s true but they are trying to keep themselves fit. Our physio and trainers are taking weekly updates from them, assigning work routines, so hopefully they will stay fit.’
As many offices will resume in limited capacity from Sunday, a BCB official said the cricket board’s office will also be functional after taking some health measures.
‘Firstly, all the cleaning staff and security personnel will be brought in and put in quarantine. Their cooking and lodging facilities will also be made inside the premise.
‘They will disinfect the whole area according to the government’s health protocol. Then BCB staff who are now working from home, will join the workplace.’
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