Cricket in Bangladesh halted amid lockdown

Cricketing activities in Bangladesh have been called off indefinitely in wake of strict lockdown imposed to control coronavirus transmission in the country.

A second phase of lockdown will begin on April 14, the Pahela Baishakhi day, which will be stricter than the previous one. The Bangabandhu Games and South Africa Emerging Women’s series against their Bangladeshi counterparts did take place during the first lockdown that began on April 5.

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However, cancellation of all international flights jeopardised South Africa Emerging’s departure. As a result, the fourth one-day on Sunday (April 11) ended up to be the last match of the tour leaving the fifth game cancelled.

The touring side is expected to leave for home today via a special flight. On the same day, Mominul Haque’s side will fly to Sri Lanka to complete two-Test affair.

First-class tournament National Cricket League that resumed last month, had to be called off after two rounds as the rising cases had impact on the competition as well. The Dhaka Premier League T20 was also slated to return in May.

The future now remains in the hands of COVID situation.

“Everything is restricted in the lockdown. The cricket board cannot go beyond that. Play will resume once the government relaxes all the restrictions,” Bangladesh Cricket Board CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury told BDCricTime.

Bangladesh are scheduled to host Sri Lanka for three ODIs (as part of World Cup Super League) in May.

Competitive cricket returned to Bangladesh in September last year after a six-month hiatus. The BCB successfully arranged the Bangabandhu T20 Cup later that year and began the new year with ODI and Test series against West Indies. Subsequently, Ireland Wolves toured to play a full series against Bangladesh Emerging team.

Bangladesh reported 7000-plus daily cases last week at infection rate of over 20 per cent.

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