Australia tour of Bangladesh in doubt due to COVID-19 spike | Australia tour of Bangladesh in doubt due to spike in coronavirus cases in Bangladesh
Not for the first time, an Australia series against Bangladesh could be cancelled. Australia’s tour of Bangladesh consisting of five T20Is, pencilled in for August 2021, is reportedly in doubt due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.
The Australian side, coming off a poor 4-1 series loss vs West Indies, is due to fly out of the Caribbean soon after the three-match ODI series. However, Cricket Australia is set to meet this week to discuss whether it is safe to head over to Bangladesh, as the country is currently serving an eight-day pause from lockdown that the government has allowed for the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha.
Currently, Bangladesh is said to have about 11,000 new COVID-19 infections every day, and with people out and about, Cricket Australia is concerned of a similar situation to that of the IPL earlier this year. Then, CA had to organise for the evacuation of 40 Australian players, coaches and commentators from India to the Maldives, before the BCCI organised for a chartered flight back home.
However, there is still hope that the tour will go ahead. Cricket Australia, in previous negotiations with the Bangladesh Cricket Board, wished to have all the matches played at the one ground to limit travel. The five matches will be played at Dhaka, with the players to reside at one heavily policed hotel rather than multiple locations. Also, players and support staff are all fully vaccinated.
“The Bangladesh Cricket Board and Cricket Australia have worked collaboratively on biosecurity and logistical plans for the five-match men’s T20 tour. We are in the final stages of planning now,” a Cricket Australia spokesman earlier said.
Cricket Australia came under fire earlier this year for cancelling their Test tour of South Africa, with claims that they will only work hard to secure a series against the bigger teams. However, Australian Cricketers’ Association CEO Todd Greenberg said that the players are keen to play cricket and the board will do what it can to ensure the tour goes ahead.
“Ultimately, of course, the welfare of our players is our number one concern, and in that regard we must act on the health advice provided by Cricket Australia and Government agencies – but the default position of our players is that they want to play cricket,” said Greenberg.