Cricket Committee for Dhaka Metropolis might resume the halted Dhaka Premier League after vaccinating all involved players and officials for COVID-19, said the CCDM chairman Kazi Inam Ahmed.
Inam, who is also a director at Bangladesh Cricket Board, dropped a hint about securing vaccine for the cricketers to ensure a smooth staging of DPL, the key list-A tournament of the country and the main income source for majority of the professional cricketers.
‘As we are seeing worldwide and the Bangladesh government is also saying there is a chance of getting vaccines [for COVID-19] very soon. In that case, we will try our best to stage the tournament after vaccinating all players and others who are involved,’ Inam told the reporters on Saturday.
Beximco Pharma signed a MoU with the Bangladesh government and Serum Institute of India on November 5 to deliver 30 million doses of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in Bangladesh.
BCB president Nazmul Hasan is also the managing director of Beximco Pharma and his high position in the organisation could help the cricketers move up the priority list for the vaccine.
Despite the recent positive developments, an effective vaccine for COVID-19 is still unavailable, therefore CCDM is also looking for other ways to stage the tournament.
BCB is currently hosting Bangabandhu Twenty20 Cup, a five-team tournament, after hosting the three-team BCB President’s Cup last month, by keeping the players in a bio-secure bubble at all times.
Keeping 12 DPL teams and all match officials in a bio-secure environment is a much more daunting task but CCDM is thinking about ways to make it possible, said Inam.
‘We have few other options also. One, we could host the tournament outside Dhaka, which we had discussed about earlier. We are thinking about what we should do. If we hold it inside Dhaka, then we might have to use different hotels at the same time.
‘We can provide a certain level of bio-security to the teams at the three venues in Dhaka. We have held a lot of discussions about that; we have a few other options on our minds,’ Inam said.
This year’s DPL was halted on March 18 after the first round as per government order due to the coronavirus outbreak.
BCB director Khaled Mahmud previously said that the tournament could resume in the third week of January.
But Inam said the DPL could be pushed back even further due to the Bangladesh-West Indies series.
‘I can’t tell whether the tournament will take place in January or not as we have an international series at that time. BCB also has to decide if they can manage both tournaments at the same time,’ the CCDM chairman said.
In that case, there could be two leagues at the same year, said Inam.
‘As the first round has already taken place, we have to continue and finish that. That will be our main focus. If necessary, we could even hold two single leagues in space of eight months.’
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