The experience for the Bangladesh team has been first of its kind, given the Covid restrictions they have had to go through
Bangladesh ODI captain Tamim Iqbal believes focus of his team will soon shift to cricket once the tourists are free from the mandatory Covid-19 quarantine in New Zealand.
Bangladesh cricket team Monday completed their first six days of the 14-day quarantine in Christchurch.
The cricketers and the team management were kept limited to their rooms in the first three days of the quarantine and from day four were allowed to walk in the lawn for 30 minutes in small groups.
All the members of the Bangladeshi contingent were found Covid-19 negative in their first round of testing.
The team will undergo two more tests within the first week.
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“If we return with negative in Covid-19 tests (Tuesday) then probably we will be able to use gym the day after. There are two gyms [in the hotel] where we can go in separate groups and use. And if everything stays normal then from the eighth day we will be allowed to practice in small groups on the field,” said Tamim through a video message to the media Monday.
“That’s what I am looking forward to as it feels like it has been a long time [since we had practice sessions]. Hopefully, our focus will completely turn to cricket once we start practicing,” said the left-handed batsman.
The experience for the Bangladesh team has been first of its kind, given the restrictions they have had to go through.
The cricketers underwent isolation in Dhaka for two domestic tournaments but the restrictions on movement were not to the level that the cricketers and the team officials have been experiencing in New Zealand, who are currently on their toes after the detection of the new UK variant of the novel coronavirus in the country.
Tamim informed that out of 24 hours in a day, only for half-an-hour were they allowed to go out from the small rooms and take a walk in the lawn inside the hotel.
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Speaking on the challenge that the cricketers will face in coping or adjusting once they get down to business, Tamim said, “Probably it will be difficult in the first two or three sessions as there were very minimum movements for us [during the isolation period]. But I think everything will be fine after one or two sessions. And if everything stays normal, we will also be able to do gym (Wednesday). So the body will get used to it once we start doing gym sessions.”
Bangladesh team following the two-week quarantine will have a five-day training camp in Queenstown.
The bilateral series is scheduled to begin later this month with the three-match ODI series.
The matches will be played on March 20, 23 and 26 in Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington respectively, while the three T20s will take place on March 28, 30 and April 1 in Hamilton, Napier and Auckland respectively.
“This is my first overseas tour as a captain. And I am hopeful about the series. By the time we play the first ODI, all the practice sessions that we will have will help us in getting ready as a team. What I feel and what I have learned by talking with other players is that everyone wants to do well for Bangladesh. So, we are hopeful. And as I always say, if we play as a team, perform well and execute our plans then we have the capability to beat any team,” concluded the skipper.