Sri Lanka Cricket has proposed a split, two-country quarantine for the Bangladesh team in the board’s latest attempt to convince Sri Lanka’s health ministry to allow Bangladesh’s tour of Sri Lanka next month to go ahead.
Sri Lanka’s health authorities have so far insisted on a strict 14-day quarantine for all arrivals, which the Bangladesh Cricket Board has refused to agree to. Now, SLC have floated the idea of Bangladesh’s players doing seven days of quarantine in Bangladesh before flying to Sri Lanka and doing seven further days of quarantine in the island.
Neither Sri Lanka’s health authorities nor the BCB has agreed to such a plan, however. Ostensibly, maintaining a biosecure bubble while flying internationally also seems a complex and difficult proposition. But SLC is being forced to come up with creative solutions, as its health ministry has so far refused to budge on the 14-day quarantine.
“We had a positive meeting with the Covid-19 Task Force yesterday, and everyone was in agreement that we should make this tour happen,” SLC vice-president Ravin Wickramaratne told ESPNcricinfo. “But we have to take what the doctors are saying into account also.”
Acting on the health ministry and epidemiologists’ recommendations, Sri Lanka has so far fared better during the pandemic than many other nations. The Covid-19 death toll is at 13 and life has largely returned to normal in the island, save for the closed borders.
Bangladesh’s refusal to undergo a 14-day quarantine – in which players would not be allowed to do so much as leave their hotel room – is because the BCB believes it is unfair to ask players to spend so long out of action – and in isolation – ahead of a major Test series. Earlier, SLC had asked the health ministry if the Bangladesh players could train in the second half of the 14-day period with a bubble in place but this was refused.
Sri Lanka also does not have major stadiums adjacent to hotels, as England do in Southampton and Manchester. SLC expects to have more clarity from the health ministry in the next few days. In any case, this series is now unlikely to start until at least mid-October.
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