IPL 2020: Kings XI Punjab Face Rajasthan Royals

Source: cricinfo

by SportsDiction – 28, September, 2020

Bangladesh’s three-Test tour of Sri Lanka has been postponed yet again following a stalemate between the BCB and SLC over quarantine requirements, with weeks of negotiation failing to yield an agreement between the two boards. The length of the quarantine, which the Sri Lankan health authorities had insisted be 14 days, with the players’ movement strictly limited to their hotel rooms, was the main proposal the Bangladesh board refused to agree with.

BCB president Nazmul Hassan said on Monday that the tour was not cancelled yet but this one crucial disagreement between the two boards forced them into asking SLC to reschedule the tour, the first Test of which was supposed to start on October 23 in Pallekele.

“Any tourist who is entering Sri Lanka has to abide by this rule [of 14 days in quarantine],” Hassan said. “They (SLC) have told us that they couldn’t do anything about this point (quarantine). We have informed them that we have to reschedule the tour to a time when things will improve. We cannot play the ICC Test Championship according to their guidelines. Their cricket board and sports ministry tried very hard. They agreed to all but one of our requirements, but that one is the real one. The 14-day quarantine.”

“What they are mentioning as ‘quarantine’ is actually full isolation…A cricketer will need a long time to regain [fitness] – physically and mentally – from this isolation. In that situation, it won’t be possible to play, we have said it before.”
BCB president Nazmul Hassan
The Sri Lankan health authorities’ insistence on a 14-day quarantine was partly because Covid-19 is understood to be spreading in Bangladesh, and some high-profile members of the potential squad had also tested positive for the virus. Sri Lanka, meanwhile, has had lesser spread of the virus for the last few months, and life has largely returned to normal, aside from tight controls at the border.

One SLC official expressed mild frustration at the government, calling health authorities “completely inflexible”, but also suggested both the authorities and SLC were wary of being blamed for a potential outbreak via the tour. Another SLC official also said the BCB had at one point asked for a three-day quarantine, which the official described as “ridiculous”.

Sri Lanka Cricket had floated several plans they felt would be more palatable to the BCB, but each of these was rejected by Sri Lanka’s health authorities. The question of why Sri Lanka could not be flexible when England had been during their home summer had been raised. However, the response from health authorities had been that although in England’s case the biosecure bubbles had been mostly designed to protect players from infection – with community spread rampant in England – Sri Lanka was attempting to protect the public from potential carriers arriving from overseas. Unlike Manchester and Southampton, Sri Lanka also does not have venues with on-site hotels.

Hassan said that the BCB also needed to understand the Sri Lankan version of the term “quarantine” which, according to him, differed from what the Bangladesh board thought it was. He said staying confined within a room for 14 days was likely to take a toll on a player’s mental and physical well-being ahead of a three-match Test series.

“There’s a difference between ‘quarantine’ and ‘isolation’,” Hassan said. “If we put someone in home quarantine, he or she cannot get out of the house. But when someone is Covid positive, we put them in isolation which means that person can’t get out of the room.

“What they are mentioning as ‘quarantine’ is actually full isolation, which means the person cannot get out of the room. A cricketer will need a long time to regain [fitness] – physically and mentally – from this isolation. In that situation, it won’t be possible to play, we have said it before.”