Coronavirus has taken seven long months away from cricket. Slowly, but surely, cricket is coming back to life. Initially, players had their own individual training sessions followed by two two-day practice matches at Mirpur earlier this month.
Now, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is planning to take a step forward and organise a One Day tournament beginning from October 11. BCB CEO, Nizamuddin Chowdhury, today said that the tournament will be named 'BCB President's Cup'. Fifty local players will participate in the tournament divided into three teams. Final of the tournament will be held on October 23.
Nizamuddin said BCB does not currently have any plans of taking sponsors for the series. "We usually have sponsors in such tournaments. But we still have not planned anything for the President Cup yet."
Players and staffs will enter the biosecure bubble from October 10. Before that they will be tested for Covid-19.
Nizamuddin Chowdhury talked about the Corporate T20 cup that has been in BCB's plan for some time now. He said nothing has been finalised yet about bringing foreign players for the tournament.
All concentrations are on the upcoming President's Cup for now.
Nizamuddin said that the BCB will be taking little steps at a time to return to full-time cricket. This President Cup, followed by the Corporate T20 tournament are part of those little steps. These local tournaments will pave the way for international tours and series to follow, Nizamuddin believes.
BCB is planning to restart league cricket soon. They have already contacted CCDM and the club authorities over resuming Dhaka Premier League as soon as possible.
A two-match international T20 series between an Asia XI and a World XI was supposed to take place back in March celebrating the Mujib Borsho. That too got canceled due to the coronavirus. BCB is still planning to organise the tournament when the situation gets normal again. "The tournament is still very much in our plan. We are waiting for the situation to get back to normal, then we will get down to business to host the tournament exactly as it was planned," Nizamuddin told.
Bangladesh's recent tour to Sri Lanka was postponed indefinitely a few weeks back. The Windies Cricket Team are supposed to tour Bangladesh in January. Nizamuddin said that the BCB is trying everything to follow FTP commitment. "We have already talked with the Windies Cricket Board. We provided some information they had asked for. Our board president has already mentioned that we are gradually trying to return to cricket and this will be a huge step towards that. We will do everything to make sure this series happens."
Craig McMillan was appointed as Tigers' batting consultant only for the Sri Lanka tour that eventually got postponed. McMillan also could not join because of family tragedy. Now, BCB is looking for someone for the long term now. And McMillan may well be considered as well.
The women's' team has been without a head coach since March. BCB has already short-listed a few names and started contacting the possible candidates. Nizamuddin said "We will appoint someone whom we will think is experienced and be able to meet our expectations. Then we will appoint other support-staffs according to the coach's needs."
It is safe to say that cricket is finally coming back to life. The fans will be waiting eagerly for their chance to be in the gallery and roar for their team. And surely, all the eyes will be on the upcoming tournaments to see how fruitful these will be in the long run and pave the way for Tigers' return to international cricket.