The final decision regarding Bangladesh’s postponed tour of Sri Lanka will be taken next week, said Bangladesh Cricket Board’s chairman of cricket operations Akram Khan.
The three-Test series, which was originally scheduled to take place in July-August, was mutually postponed by BCB and Sri Lanka Cricket in June, with the lack of preparedness of the Bangladesh players being cited as the main reason.
But since then, two major multi-team events for Bangladesh, Asia Cup and the ICC Twenty20 World Cup got postponed for the COVID-19 crisis, which left a huge blank in Bangladesh’s international calendar.
BCB was now hoping to facilitate the return of the Tigers in the international arena through the Sri Lanka tour and add a few limited overs matches in the series.
‘BCB and SLC are in talks about the Sri Lanka tour. Talks are going on about the new schedule and the number and formats of the games. But so far nothing has been finalised,’ Akram said on Thursday.
‘Hopefully, within four days, everything will be finalised. Earlier, we were only scheduled to play a three-Test series. We are also trying to add some more matches to the series and we have included that point in the new discussion which started after the suspension of ICC T20 World Cup,’ he added.
Akram said that the board also wanted to arrange some practice matches for the Tigers for them to shed off the rust before they take on the Lankan Lions.
‘We’re focusing on playing more practice matches as our players were away from all sorts of cricketing activities for a long period of time. We want to go there with at least 12 days in hand so that our players can prepare well.
‘We wanted to play some warm-up matches before the series started so that our cricketers are well prepared for the series. In addition to the Test series, we also want to play some limited-over international matches. It could be an ODI, it could be a T20. We will be able to talk about it when the final decision is made,’ he said.
BCB was also planning something never before done by Bangladesh, a practice match between Bangladesh national team and the High Performance unit in Sri Lanka.
The board came up with this idea after their Sri Lankan counterpart reportedly rejected the proposal of setting up practice matches for the Bangladesh team in the island nation.
SLC claimed the main reason behind their refusal was that they didn’t want players outside of the Sri Lanka national team to get in contact with the Bangladeshi players, as it increased the risk of COVID-19 infection.
BCB was also in talks about sending the HP team for a tour in Sri Lanka in September, making a match between the sides a possibility.
‘We are planning to play practice games against our own HP Unit if we don’t get any Sri Lankan team to play practice matches against,’ a BCB official, seeking anonymity, said on Thursday.
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