Covid-19: Bangladesh’s Pakistan tour in doubt
BCB postpones Asia XI vs World XI matches
DHAKA: Bangladesh are scheduled to visit Pakistan on March 29 for the third phase of their full tour to play a one-off ODI and the second Test but there are doubts regarding the tour due to the ongoing coronavirus scare.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan said that they will be discussing the issue of going to Pakistan again after already postponing a scheduled concert and two T20s between World XI and Asia XI, which were to be played at home, due to the coronavirus crisis around the world.
“Let’s see, we will be discussing that [visiting Pakistan]. We will go step by step and we will be sitting down for that issue as well,” he told reporters Wednesday after having confirmed that the concert and T20s between World XI and Asia XI — both to commemorate the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman — are being deferred.
Karachi has been the worst affected city so far, with 15 confirmed cases of coronavirus till date and both Bangladesh’s ODI and second Test are scheduled to be played there.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh on Wednesday confirmed they will go on tour to play Ireland and that Australia will visit in June.
A number of sporting events have been called off or postponed worldwide over recent days because of concerns over the new coronavirus. The Bangladesh Cricket Board said that they will play three ODIs against Ireland in Belfast on May 14, 16 and 19.
Four Twenty20 games against Ireland would then be played in England, at the Oval on May 22, Chelmsford on May 24, Bristol on May 27 and Edgbaston on May 29.
The first Test against Australia will be held at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong from June 11-15 and the second in Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium from June 19-23.
Australia will also play a four-day match prior to the first Test, the date of which was yet to be confirmed.
Meanwhile, BCB has announced their decision to postpone the Asia XI and World XI matches due to the rapid outbreak of coronavirus across the globe on Wednesday.
The matches were scheduled to take place on March 21 and 22 to mark a grand celebration of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s birthday, who is also considered as the father of Bangladesh.
“There’s no guarantee that those who are supposed to play will be able to arrive, or can leave after the matches,” BCB president Nazmul Hasan was quoted as saying by ESPN Cricinfo.
“There are a lot of restrictions, so we have deferred both programmes. We will organise after a month taking stock of the situation. It is postponed for the time being,” he added.
The BCB had lined up big names like Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, Faf du Plessis as the star players in the Asia XI vs World XI matches.
The cricketing board also decided to re-schedule AR Rahman’s concert at the Shere Bangla National Stadium. – Agencies