West Indies to arrive in Dhaka Sunday

The West Indies cricket team will arrive in Dhaka on early Sunday to play a three-match ODI and two-match Test series against the hosts from January 20.

This series will be Bangladesh cricket team’s first international meet after a Covid-19 hiatus.

Bangladesh played their last international match in March 2020 against Zimbabwe at home. They were scheduled to tour Sri Lanka in last October, too. But the series was postponed due to the Covid-19 situation in the island nation.

The West Indies team took a Covid-19 test before departing for Bangladesh. And one cricketer, who tested positive, was left out from the squad what was announced earlier.

After arriving in Dhaka, all the members of the touring team will undergo another Covid-19 test and will have to maintain a strict three-day in-room quarantine.

After that, they will undergo another test. Those who will test negative will get the chance to join the intra-squad training programme for the next four days. After the seven days, they will undergo another Covid-19 test in Bangladesh.

On the same day of the West Indies’ arrival, Bangladesh will start their official training programme ahead of the tour.

All members of the Bangladesh team underwent a Covid-19 test on Thursday and everyone tested negative. They will take another test on Saturday, and those who will return negative will join the training.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will have to maintain a strict health safety protocol during the series to keep all the cricketers, staff and other stakeholders safe from Covid-19 infection.

“We are taking it seriously. We arranged two domestic events recently – BCB President’s Cup and Bangabandhu T20 Cup – while creating a bio-secure bubble for the cricketers. So we know how to do it,” BCB Cricket Operations Committee chairman Akram Khan said this on Saturday.

Unlike Australia, Bangladesh will not allow any spectators to the stadium during this series. “BCB is still discussing the issue and considering not to allow any spectators, keeping health safety in mind,” Akram said.

The series will commence with the first ODI at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on January 20 while the second ODI will take place on January 22.

The third ODI will be played in Chattogram on January 25, and the first Test will also take place in the port city from February 3. Both the teams will come back to Dhaka to play the final Test from February 11.

After the Covid-19 interruption, the West Indies played two series – against England and New Zealand – while the Bangladesh team are yet to make a return to international cricket.

However, former Bangladesh captain Akram said, “West Indies are a good team. They have many quality players.”

“We know some of their regular players have opted out from participation. Still, they have a good bunch of cricketers. So we should not take them lightly.”

Source: United News of Bangladesh