The whole world has been shaken by the coronavirus outbreak and it is no different in Bangladesh. Five have already died and the number of confirmed cases has risen to 48. The whole country has suddenly come to a halt including the sporting arena.
Among the domestic tournaments that have been suspended, one is the Bangabandhu Dhaka Premier League (BDPL), the country's premier 50-over tournament. Only the first round of matches were completed when the tournament came was halted. And as the pandemic continues to infect more people throughout the country, there are clouds of doubt if the season will even be finished.
If the season is not completed, there will be questions about the payment of players. Will they be paid in full? Will they get even get paid? If not, that might create a huge financial problem for many players. The BDPL is the chief source of income for most of the cricketers, especially for those who are not included in the central contract of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).
In such a situation, players have opined that health is more important than money. They also added that, cricket is of lesser importance during the pandemic.
Veteran left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak was hopeful that the pandemic will end soon and play will resume. He said, "I am still hopeful that almighty willing we will return to the field soon. And completion of the season is possible because we have only one 50-over tournament. I think everybody is concerned with the situation and everybody wants cricket to be back on the field. What happens next cannot be said now. But if this tournament is not finished, then there will be no 50-over tournament in almost two years which will be pathetic."
Razzak added, "God forbid, if the situation stays like this, there is no way of even thinking about playing. Because if it happens like it has been happening in China and Italy, then the situation will even worsen in our country."
Bangladesh national team seamer Al-Amin Hossain was not concerned about playing or money and said that staying alive was more important than anything else.
"Peoples' lives are at stake, money or sports can wait, I am not concerned with them at all. The way it is spreading, we do not know if we will live or not. In such a situation, there is no way of thinking about that. I am not thinking about any of these, I am just trying to stay aware," said Al-Amin.
Youngster Yasir Ali Chowdhury also put health ahead of cricket and said that he was hopeful about cricket returning. If not, he believed that the board would provide a solution.
"Actually now our main concern is to stay safe. Money is obviously a fact. But if I'm fine and alive, then I will be able to cover it up in the future. But I am still hopeful that the pandemic will end soon and cricket will return," Yasir said.
He added, "If the season cannot be completed, then the board might have a solution for that situation. The board have always been good to the players and I am hopeful that they will find a way."
The players are already trying to do their bit in the battle against coronavirus. 27 players have come together to donate half of their month's salary – a bit over 30 lac taka – to a fund which will help the people affected by the coronavirus.