Coronavirus outbreak: New Zealand tour of Bangladesh postponed
New Zealand's upcoming tour of Bangladesh has been postponed due to coronavirus pandemic. Reportedly, the two cricket boards, on Tuesday, mutually agreed to push the tour to a later date this year. The two-match Test series was scheduled to be played in August-September as a part of ICC World Test Championship. Here is more on the same.
The official statement of Bangladesh Cricket Board
'In the present COVID-19 pandemic scenario, hosting a full cricket series in August 2020 will be a challenge in terms of preparations and we cannot take chances with the safety and health of players, support staff and related stakeholders,' BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury said.
A unanimous decision to defer the tour
Both Bangladesh Cricket Board and New Zealand Cricket unanimously agreed to call-off the tour. "Under these circumstances, we've felt that the best way forward would be to defer the series," the statement added. "We realize this will be disappointing for players and officials of both teams, not to mention the fans of the two nations but I must thank NZC for recognising the rationale."
Earlier, Australia's proposed tour of Bangladesh was also canceled
Bangladesh were supposed to host the Kiwis for a two-match Test series ahead of the Asia Cup. The tour has been called-off in order to contain the spread of novel coronavirus. There is still no clarity on Bangladesh's upcoming tour of Sri Lanka, which has been shrouded in mystery. Previously, Australia's proposed Test tour of Bangladesh was also canceled due to same.
Bangladesh have reported 1,545 deaths so far
The impact of COVID-19 on Bangladesh cricket
All the cricket activities in Bangladesh have been suspended since March, owing to COVID-19 outbreak. Recently, the former captain Mashrafe Mortaza was tested positive for coronavirus. The 36-year-old is presently under home-quarantine at his residence in Dhaka. Meanwhile, it remains to be seen if the Bangladesh Cricket Board initiates the training camp for resumption of cricket, under present circumstances.