The scheduled Bangladesh tour of Sri Lanka has been postponed once again after the respective boards failed to reach an agreement following weeks of talks.
The two nations were due to face off in a three-Test series as part of the ICC World Test Championship, starting in late October.
However, continued disagreements over quarantine protocols for the tourists ensures that the series may not take place at all.
“Any tourist who is entering Sri Lanka has to abide by this rule [of 14 days in quarantine],” said BCB President Nazmul Hassan, as quoted by ESPNCricinfo. “They (SLC) have told us that they couldn’t do anything about this point. We have informed them that we have to reschedule the tour to a time when things will improve.”
“We cannot play the ICC Test Championship according to their guidelines. Their cricket board and sports ministry tried very hard. They agreed to all but one of our requirements, but that one is the real one. The 14-day quarantine.
“What they are mentioning as ‘quarantine’ is actually full isolation…A cricketer will need a long time to regain [fitness] – physically and mentally – from this isolation. In that situation, it won’t be possible to play, we have said it before.”
The SLC are said to have put forward several alternative plans which have been rejected by the country’s health authorities, who are wary of the rising number of positive cases in Bangladesh.
Each touring side was able to fly into the UK and begin training almost immediately after checking into the hotels at Old Trafford and New Road.
The main issue in Sri Lanka is that none of the country’s international venues have on-site hotels.
It’s unclear at this stage if and when the tour will finally take place but it’s easy to see why Bangladesh are refusing to budge on the issue.
Players must be in peak mental and physical condition to perform at Test level and Bangladesh would be at a massive disadvantage on the tour if they were forced to observe 14 days of isolation after arriving in Sri Lanka.
It has been over six months since either Sri Lanka or Bangladesh played a Test match, with their last fixtures both coming against Zimbabwe in January and February respectively.