Decision to continue New Zealand tour to be taken on Dec 21: Papon
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Decision to continue New Zealand tour to be taken on Dec 21: Papon

The fate of the Bangladesh’s ongoing tour in New Zealand will be taken on December 21, a day when the players and supporting staff will undergo their Covid-19 test again, said Nazmul Hassan Papon, the president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).

The Bangladesh contingent have been put into an extended three-day quarantine after their spin bowling coach Rangana Herath was tested positive for the coronavirus in Christchurch. A few of the Bangladesh team members have also come in contact with a Covid-patient on their way to New Zealand from Bangladesh.

Rumours were rife that the Bangladesh cricket team may return to the country after canceling the tour of New Zealand due to coronavirus. But the BCB president said that there was no chance of postponing the tour as Bangladesh will play a two-match Test series, which is the part of ICC World Test Championship, amid a tight international schedule.

However, the BCB president also said that the cricketers who went to New Zealand are not comfortable in the wake of the situation. Cricketers will have to stay in quarantine till next Tuesday. The next decision will be made by the New Zealand Ministry of Health.

“The cricketers have been in continuous cricket since the last Australia series,” Nazmul Hasan Papon said after an emergency meeting yesterday. ” Now they are on a tour of New Zealand. After this, the probable start date of BPL has been fixed within 4/5 days of their arrival to the country. They would have to be in continuous cricket till December 2022.”

He went on to saying: “We can’t give them any break or rest. The players are all very upset mentally and physically. Some wanted the series to be postponed, or to return to the country.”

However, Papon said they will wait till December 21 to take the next step regarding the tour.

If any member of the Bangladesh team comes positive in the Covid-19 test in December 21, there is chance that the quarantine period be extended. Papon said they will sort out the matter through bilateral talks with the New Zealand counterpart.

“If the quarantine is extended after the 21st, we will discuss with their (New Zealand) board what can be done. A week after the Bangladesh series, they (New Zealand) are going to Australia. So, they do not have time. We may defer the scheduled for two/three/ or four days but I don’t know as of now. We have to wait till the 21st December to get a clear picture.”

There are more problems in this case. Due to the presence of Omicron variant in the body of a passenger on the flight of Bangladesh team, this matter is being closely monitored by the New Zealand Ministry of Health. And for this reason, the New Zealand Cricket couldn’t intervene in this matter, said the BCB president.

“The whole thing is not in the hands of the New Zealand Cricket Board,” he said. “Their government and health ministry looking after the matter. But they are trying to support us as much as possible. We appreciate it.”

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