Australia Twenty20s in new uncertainty

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A positive Covid case from a West Indies team official on Thursday threw Bangladesh’s much-anticipated home series against Australia into further uncertainty, as the Bangladesh Cricket Board awaits news from its Australian counterparts on the comes out of the Twenty20 series.

The second ODI between Australia and the West Indies in Barbados had to be postponed after the draw when the positive test result of a local team support staff was known.

Players from both teams were immediately placed in isolation and they will be extensively tested for the virus.

The Australians are expected to arrive in Dhaka from the Caribbean on July 29 to play five T20s against the Tigers at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium from August 3-9.

The BCB has had to respond to numerous requests from Cricket Australia to convince them to send the Australian team to Bangladesh after around four years at a time when cases of Covid-19 are on the rise in the country.

But a Covid outbreak in the Australian camp could be the death blow to the series and persuade the CA to cancel the series, several major Australian media have predicted.

But the BCB is still optimistic about the series and board officials believe the tour will start on schedule as they haven’t heard anything negative from the CA.

“Until last night we know the series is going to go on schedule,” BCB cricket operations committee chairman Akram Khan told New Age on Friday.

“We have not received any mail from AC indicating that the series will be postponed or canceled. We expect to hold it on time. If there is a review or change, CA will certainly let us know,” a he added.

The BCB has successfully hosted a number of series and tournaments during the pandemic, which includes domestic competitions like the Dhaka Premier League in June and the Bangabandhu Twenty20 Cup in October-November.

On the international cricket front, the BCB hosted the West Indies team for a series in January-February and also successfully hosted an ODI series between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in May.

The board is hoping to continue hosting the Australian series, but previous successes in hosting tournaments during the pandemic may not be enough to persuade Australians if anyone on their side tests positive for the virus.

The Australian was supposed to visit Bangladesh last year for a series of tests that were part of the OCC World Testing Championship, but it was canceled due to the pandemic.

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