Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan Papon on Saturday said the 3rd and final phase of the Pakistan tour of Bangladesh National cricket team is now very tough due to spread of coronavirus globally.
“The final decision is yet to be made. We’re in close contact with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). I hope the final decision will be made within the next couple of days,” Nazmul told the media at the Gulshan Youth Club during a corporate cricket festival.
“Families of the cricketers are also concerned about coronavirus. They’re not willing to send their sons to play cricket amid this fear. So, I think it is tough for us to tour Pakistan now,” Nazmul added.
In the first phase of the tour, Bangladesh played a three-match T20Is series against the hosts in Lahore and in the second phase, Tigers played the first Test of the two-match series also in Lahore.
Now, the Tigers are scheduled to tour Pakistan for an ODI and remaining Test in Karachi.
While the tour is now under the cloud, Pakistan also to scrap the ongoing season of Pakistan Super League (PSL) due to the ascending fear over coronavirus.
The league copes up with the fear as the foreign players opted to leave early due to travelling restriction around the world.
Newly appointed ODI captain of Bangladesh Tamim Iqbal, in this first media interaction after taking over captaincy from Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, said on Saturday it will be unfair to expect from him overnight to surpass Mashrafe.
The southpaw batsman cum Tigers captain Tamim urged the fans to keep faith on him and give some time to improve his skills as a captain.
Mashrafe announced his retirement as Bangladesh’s ODI captain ahead of the third and final ODI against Zimbabwe on March 6. Within a week, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) named 30-year old batsman Tamim Iqbal as the next ODI captain of the Tigers for the coming days.
“It was a combined decision of the board to appoint me as the ODI captain,I wanted to take the captaincy for a long time so that I can make some changes. It’s really tough for a captain to plan for two or three series. This is the most important thing. Now, if you want I will surpass Mashrafe bhai overnight, it will be very unfair. I will try my best to guide this team to the next level. But I need time. I will request you all to keep faith on me,” Tamim told the media on Saturday at the BCB Academy ground during a practice session of his Dhaka Premier League team Abahani Limited.
“I have said earlier that it’s tough to be a good successor of Masrhafe bhai as a captain. He led the team for a long time. He is the most successful captain of Bangladesh. The team achieved many remarkable things under his leadership. We need a big win in ODI cricket, which must break the ice for our future,” Tamim added.
Tamim has no remarkable history as a captain. He led several teams in the domestic circuit earlier but there was nothing to prove Tamim’s mantle as a leader.
“I am not an experienced captain, to be honest. It will be wrong if I say I captained a lot. So, I need some times. Along with leading the team, I have to do well as a batsman as well. I don’t know how will I perform after six months or a year. So time is most important for me. I will urge our fans to keep patience. I will try everything possible for the betterment of the team. I don’t know whether I will be successful or not but I will keep trying. It’s tough to surpass Masrhafe bhai in the first bid,” Tamim further told the media.
Tamim played 77 ODIs under the captaincy of Masrhafe. The southpaw said it will help him to improve as captain as he saw Masrhafe’s techniques and the process of thinking for a long time. At the same time, he shares a very close relationship with Mashrafe, what, he believes, will also help him along the way.
After a dismal show in the last World Cup in England, Tamim was targeted of immense criticism by the fans, which forced Tamim to shut his social media page for a while. But now, he believes that the criticism is must if he fails to perform well.
“Criticism is a must. I had to endure immense criticism previously due to my performance as a batsman, but now, people will talk about my captaincy as well. I don’t mind about it. But at the same time, I need to take some time to make changes,” Tamim added.
Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League, the most competitive domestic cricket event of the country, is all set to begin from Sunday amid the fear of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) which has forced to postpone many sporting events around the world including a two-match T20I series between World XI and Asia XI in Bangladesh.
The event is renamed to Bangabandhu Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League to celebrate the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
However, the chief executive officer of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), Nizam Uddin Chowdhury, told media that they have taken special steps for a regular health checkup of the participating players of all 12 teams.
“We will follow all the medical advisories that the government has asked to do in order to tackle coronavirus. We have close contacts with all participating teams. They will have a special team meeting about it,” Nizam Uddin told the media on Saturday while announcing Walton as the title sponsor of the event.
“We asked the club to inform the BCB medical team if any player or official falls ill during the event. We will take further steps. We will advise the players to avoid conventional handshakes during the event so that we can reduce the risk coronavirus. As the spectators’ presence is very low in this event, we believe there is no need to put any restriction on it. But despite that, we will be aware of everything,” Nizam Uddin added.
A total of 12 teams will participate in the event. Sefending champions Abahani Limited will take on Partex Sporting Club in the opening game at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Sunday. There will be another two games on the same day as Legends of Rupganj will take on Old DOHS Sports Club at BKSP-4 and Prime Doleshwar Sporting Club will face off Brothers Union at Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah.
Australia's one-day international series against New Zealand has been abandoned after the New Zealanders had to rush home due to coronavirus precautions.
The New Zealand government announced Saturday that all incoming passengers would be subject to a 14-day quarantine, from midnight Sunday.
"A consequence of this is that we need to get our team back to New Zealand before the restriction is imposed, meaning it will not be able to participate in the two remaining Chappell-Hadlee fixtures," a New Zealand Cricket spokesman said.
Australia won the first match on Friday at the Sydney Cricket Ground by 71 runs, with no spectators in the stadium. The second match was set for Sunday, also at the SCG, and the third next Friday in Hobart.
The teams were scheduled to play three Twenty20s against each other in New Zealand, starting from March 24, but those have also been called off.
"NZC believes both these series can be replayed in their entirety at a later and more appropriate date," the spokesman said. "NZC understands and supports the government's position. This is a time of unprecedented risk and peril, and the personal health and well-being of our players is paramount."
Islamabad, Mar 14 (AP/UNB) — The Pakistan Super League will finish four days ahead of schedule in empty stadiums and minus 14 foreign cricketers because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The playoffs next week were shortened, and Lahore will host both semifinals on Tuesday and the final on Wednesday.
The remaining four league games to Sunday will go ahead as scheduled in Lahore and Karachi.
"Following advice from the Punjab government, the Pakistan Cricket Board has decided the final-leg matches of the Pakistan Super League in Lahore will be played behind closed doors," the PCB said.
English players Alex Hales, Tymal Mills, Jason Roy, James Vince, Tom Banton, Liam Dawson, Lewis Gregory, Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone, the West Indies' Carlos Brathwaite and South Africa's Rilee Rossouw are among those who will be flying home to avoid possible border closures.
"Thank you Pakistan. Unfortunately the journey was cut short as I felt I needed to be at home with my family with what is happening in the world at the moment. A huge thank you to the security, fans," Mills said in a tweet.
The PCB added Luke Ronchi and Colin Munro of New Zealand and Dale Steyn of South Africa were also leaving and no longer available to Islamabad United along with Malan.
All players were given the option of returning home on Friday after a conference call between PCB officials and franchise owners.
"It is important to emphasize and clarify that the main concern of many of the players who have chosen to return home revolves around avoiding a potential situation where they might become stranded either due to flight cancellations or border closures in their own countries," PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said in a statement.
There have been more than 128,000 cases and 4,700 deaths globally since the virus outbreak started late last year. Most people quickly recover from the virus after experiencing only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks.