The members of the Bangladesh cricket team who are travelling to New Zealand for a two-match Test series have given their samples on Sunday for a Covid-19 test.
A negative result of this test will allow them to start practising in the outdoor field— the opportunity they are yet to get in New Zealand on this tour.
After arriving in New Zealand early this month, the Tigers underwent two Covid-19 tests, and all the players had returned negative.
Bangladesh team left home on December 9 for New Zealand, and they were supposed to maintain a three-day in-room quarantine in a hotel, and start practising outdoor after that. But the period has been extended twice after Bangladesh’s spin bowling coach Rangana Herath tested positive for Covid-19.
“We have given our specimen today, and we hope that we all will return negative and start practising together at the field,” Shoriful Islam, the left-arm seamer of the Bangladesh team, told in a video message from New Zealand.
“We are excited to start practising outside the hotel. It’s been tough for us to stay at the hotel for days. We only get a few minutes to go out of the room and talk to each other maintaining social distance,” Shorifjul, who is touring New Zealand to play Tests for the first time in his career, added.
Most of the players of the Bangladesh test team are going through the tough quarantine for weeks.
Many of them asked the board to skip the New Zealand series and return home due to bubble fatigue. But the board did not allow them as the New Zealand series is part of the World Test Championship.
“Many of the players wanted to return home skipping the tour,” Nazmul Hasan, the BCB president recently told the media.
“But the New Zealand series is very important for us. We have to continue it unless the quarantine period is extended further. Let’s wait for the result of the next Covid-19 test.”
Before the New Zealand series, Bangladesh took on Pakistan in a two-match Test series at home which was Bangladesh’s maiden series in the new cycle of the World Test Championship. The players had to maintain a strict quarantine during that series as well, and before that, the players were in the bio-bubble of the T20 World Cup after maintaining the same against Australia and New Zealand at home.
After the New Zealand series, the players of Bangladesh will have to participate in this year’s Bangladesh Premier League which will also require maintaining a bio-secure bubble— a tough journey for the cricketers during the pandemic.
The first Test of the New Zealand series is scheduled to take place on January 1 while the second Test will be played from January 9.
Bangladesh failed to win any Test in the last cycle of the World Test Championship. They are eager to make a change in the new cycle of the event, though they failed to register a good start against Pakistan.
The Tigers will miss the service of Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal on this tour. While Shakib was granted leave by the BCB after he asked for the same due to family reasons, Tamim has been suffering from injuries for a while.