After waiting for about one and a half weeks, the Bangladesh team is finally out for preparation ahead of the two-match Test series against New Zealand starting from January 1.
In the latest Covid-19 Test, all the members of the Bangladesh team returned negative which allowed them to come out from the quarantine and start preparation ahead of the series.
This series is part of the ICC World Test Championship. Bangladesh played their first series of this event against Pakistan at home before flying for New Zealand. Bangladesh lost both the matches they played against Pakistan at home.
Bangladesh team left Dhaka on December 9 for New Zealand, and since then, they had been maintaining a strict quarantine. In the first Covid-19 test after arriving there, all the players and support staff returned negative. But in the second test, Bangladesh’s spin bowling coach Rangana Herath returned positive which prevented the Tigers to take the field after completing three days of in-room quarantine.
“It’s Great to be out,” Russell Domingo, Bangladesh’s head coach, said. “Eleven days in our rooms been pretty challenging for the boys after a long year. So, boys are happy to be out in bright sunshine and blue sky.”
Bangladesh team will continue to be practising for two days to get themselves accustomed to batting and bowling once again, and by the time they will get to Tauranga for a six-day preparation camp before the first Test of the series.
The strict quarantine measures had cast doubts over the fate of this series. Had not everybody of the Bangladesh team returned negative in the last Covid-19 test, the period of quarantine might have been extended more which could force both the boards to reschedule the series in a later date.
After the New Zealand series, Bangladesh players will need to maintain another quarantine period when they will play the new season of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) which is yet to be scheduled. And after that, Afghanistan will visit Bangladesh, and the players will have to maintain another tight bio-secured environment.
Bangladesh have been suffering in the field for a while now. They won two T20I series against Australia and New Zealand ahead of the T20 World Cup. But in the World Cup, they failed in every way—which was started with the defeat against Scotland.
After the shocking defeat in the first match, Bangladesh won against Oman and Papua New Guinea and qualified to the next phase of the event which was full of disappointment for the Tigers where they failed to win any match.
After the World Cup, Bangladesh lost two consecutive Tests against Pakistan. Now, they are taking the challenge of New Zealand at their home ground. Before this series, Bangladesh played 15 Tests against New Zealand and failed to win any of them.
In this tough series, Bangladesh are set to miss the service of Shakib Al Hasan who is currently on leave due to family commitments. The allrounder has great records against the Blackcaps. Along with him, Bangladesh’s most successful opener, Tamim Iqbal, is also out of this series. The opener is currently going through a rehabilitation program to come out from injuries that prevented him to take part in the Pakistan series.