Dhaka, Dec 18:Doubts have been cast over Bangladesh’s two-match Test series against New Zealand due to quarantine issues. After Rangana Herath, Bangladesh’s spin bowling consultant, was detected Covid-19 positive, the touring party was asked not to undertake any practice sessions until December 21 and were sent back into quarantine.
Cricbuzz understands that if the visitors are asked to stay in quarantine beyond December 21, then the series could be scheduled for a later date.
The officials from both boards will sit to discuss their next course of action. Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hassan on Saturday (December 18) called an impromptu meeting with his colleagues in Mirpur to discuss the issue.
”Our cricketers are mentally and physically exhausted due to non-stop bio-bubble and some of our cricketers were thinking of returning home skipping the series but that is not possible,” BCB president Nazmul Hasan told reporters.
”If the quarantine is again extended after December 21 than we will sit with them. ”We have informed them that it is difficult for us to play without sufficient preparation,” Nazmul said, pointing out the postponement of the intra-squad two-day practice game, scheduled on December 22-23.
Besides Herath, eight other members of the Test squad comprising players and support staff are already in isolation as they were in close contact with a Covid-19 positive person flying with them from Malaysia to New Zealand. The other players and staff took part in an outdoor practice session for the first time on December 16 after completing their required quarantine but were later asked to stop their practice sessions. It was learnt that the positive passenger on the plane was found to be infected by the Omicron variant and that prompted the government to ask the tourists to go back to MIQ (Managed Isolation and Quarantine).
Apart from the intra-squad practice game, the tourists were scheduled to play a two-day practice match against New Zealand A from December 28 ahead of the two-match Test series.The opening Test is scheduled to be played at the Bay Oval in Tauranga starting on January 1 while the second Test will be played from January 9 at Hagley Oval, Christchurch.