Courtesy of a dispute over the quarantine period, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) called off their three-match Test series against Sri Lanka in late-October. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) wanted the Bangladesh team to stay in quarantine for 14 days upon reaching Sri Lanka, according to instructions from their health ministry. BCB refused an isolation period of more than seven days and hence, the tour was called off.
Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo though believes that it was the right decision from the board. Even though Domingo is disappointed by the postponement and this putting Bangladesh short of international cricket, the South African said that it was very difficult to play after staying in quarantine for 14 days.
"Obviously I am very disappointed that the Sri Lanka tour is not taking place. I think the BCB were correct in refraining from going under the stipulations that were placed upon the team. It would have been very difficult for us to spend that amount of time locked up in our room without preparation and played a Test match in ten days time. I am fully supporting the decision," said Domingo in a virtual press conference on Friday.
He added that he preferred that the players played some domestic cricket before moving on to international cricket. He said, "BCB are doing some domestic leagues. There have been one or two invites from outside nations, maybe to play cricket in December. Nothing has been confirmed as yet. I think rightfully domestic cricket needs to be going. As a coach I prefer guys play domestic cricket first and then go into international cricket. So if there's any form of domestic cricket, that'd be first-class. There's no substitute in playing games. We need to play as many games as we possibly can before we get back to international cricket."
Domingo brought forward the example of Bangladesh players staying in quarantine for about a week and added that it was very difficult to stay locked up for two weeks.
"Couple of our players have been in isolation for five or six days. They said it was extremely difficult, in terms of the mental aspect. Forget about the physical side. For me personally to spend 14 days locked up in a small hotel room would be very challenging. I suppose there were some discussions among some players but ultimately it's a decision the board made. As disappointed as they were to not play the series, the players appreciate the board's decision. They also understand that the mental issues of being in a locked up, enclosed area for 14 days could pose some serious challenges. Some guys may be able to deal with it but one or two struggling with it is an issue. Everybody's feeling has to be considered when making these decisions, and the board made the right decision," the 46-year old added.
He also went to share his personal experience as he and the other coaches have been within the biosecure bubble for almost a month now. He added that all the players and staff were doing fine for now within the bubble but if someone faces any trouble, they will try to do their best to support them.
"At the moment everybody is fine. I don't see any issues. If there are, we will provide the players with as much support as we can. We do know everybody is different and there are various challenges that people face. So far so good. I have loved my first month here. It is good to be back at cricket. It would be nice if we could play some serious games but it is what it is. We just have to make the best of a bad situation at the moment. Everyone is fine, happy. Missing families, obviously. But we also have to do a job and provide for our families. So we have to bite the bullet," Domingo added.
The Bangladesh team are currently undergoing a skill camp at Mirpur which will go on until October 15. In this period, they will play three intra-squad practice matches, the first two being two-day matches with the last being of three days.