Covid-19 tests of Bangladesh and Australia teams have returned negative, and both the teams are looking forward to their first practice session in Mirpur Sunday
Bangladesh Cricket Board’s effort in hosting Australia for a five-match T20I series is the talk of the town.
Bangladesh amid the Covid-19 pandemic have hosted two international series, against the West Indies in January and Sri Lanka in May this year, but the arrangements or protocols have been nothing close to those in place for Australia.
Restricting entry to the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium and only open two days ahead of the series opener, no production crew or cameras allowed in field of play, Decision Review System technician not to sit with the match referee during matches and reserving the whole hotel in Dhaka for only the two teams and match officials are few of the unique measures which BCB has agreed to with Cricket Australia for the series to go ahead.
Australia team reached Dhaka Thursday evening.
Bangladesh also set foot in the capital following the tour of Zimbabwe on the same day, and both the sides have been in three-day room quarantine in team hotel since.
According to team sources, Covid-19 tests of Bangladesh and Australia teams have returned negative, and both the teams are looking forward to their first practice session in Mirpur Sunday.
"I think the facilities which the Australian team have been provided are more than what they expected. From all the information I've got from them, I think they're satisfied so far. Their [Australia] first condition was to go to the hotel from the airport, and a good environment in the hotel. I think they're really happy with everything they've got," said BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury to the media Friday.
"Australia had a few extra demands over the standard bio-bubble protocol, and we tried to fulfill those demands, there's nothing much beyond that. So there's no point in seeing it as an exaggeration,” the BCB high-up added.
The strict protocol is one of the reasons for Bangladesh wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim to miss out on the series.
Mushfiq had got out of the bio-secured bubble in Zimbabwe and returned to Dhaka for a family emergency in mid-July.
The cricketer was later ruled out from being part of the series for not joining the bio-bubble placed in Dhaka 10 days ahead of Australia cricket team’s arrival, a protocol that was part of the Memorandum of Understanding for the series.
There is also argument if the BCB cricket operations committee made a fault by not informing Mushfiq of the protocol in time.
Nizamuddin though pressed on normalizing such rituals.
“This is the new normal in the current situation, and we have to arrange events in this way. If we can arrange this tournament successfully with the help of everyone, it will have a positive influence on arranging the upcoming tournaments. Our confidence will also increase,” said Nizamuddin.
"We have already finished two international events and two domestic tournaments and these led us to acquire experienced manpower. We're utilizing these people and we're confident," he added.
Bangladesh following the Australia series are scheduled to host New Zealand at the end of August for a five-match T20I series.
Following the New Zealand series, Bangladesh are slated to welcome England for a series comprising one-day internationals and T20Is, before heading off to the World T20I in October in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
The five-match series between Bangladesh and Australia will begin Tuesday in Mirpur.
The second, third, fourth and fifth T20Is will be played on August 4, 6, 7 and 9 respectively at the same venue behind closed doors.