BCB prepared for delayed start to home T20I series against Australia

Mushfiqur Rahim dodges a bouncer Getty Images

The BCB is prepared to handle a delay for their home T20I series against Australia after the West Indies-Australia ODIs were rescheduled. The second ODI between West Indies and Australia was postponed moments before the first ball after a positive Covid test emerged from a non-playing member of the West Indies squad.

The second ODI will now restart on Saturday with the final match taking place on Monday. Australia are then scheduled to arrive in Bangladesh on July 29, with the first of the five T20Is to be played on August 3.

"We haven't discussed the matter with Cricket Australia yet but a delay wouldn't be a problem," BCB's chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury told Prothom Alo. "We are hopeful about the Australia series. Neither of the teams have anything after this series. It will be okay if there's a delay of a few days."

The delay might pave the way for Mushfiqur Rahim's return after the batter missed entering the Dhaka bio-bubble on the due date. The quarantine was originally set to begin on July 22 and later it was brought up to July 20. Neither team would have been able to arrive in Dhaka by that date because Bangladesh were on tour in Zimbabwe and Australia were on tour in the West Indies. So the BCB and CA agreed that so long as their players remained inside a secure bio-bubble - Bangladesh in Harare and Australia in Gros Islet and Bridgetown - it could count towards their quarantine time in Dhaka.

As a result, the BCB contacted Rahim and asked him to stay back in Zimbabwe for the entire duration of the tour. Initially, he was meant to return home after the end of the ODI leg. But, complications arose when Rahim's parents fell sick and he had to fly home early.

Chowdhury, however, did not rule out renegotiating with CA about Rahim's inclusion.

"It is worrying not to have someone like Mushfiq in the team," he said. "We will keep trying in that regard. We are still in touch about this, and not just because there might be a delay in the tour. We are waiting for their reply."

The two boards have agreed on stringent safety measures for the tour, including quarantine for ten days before Australia's arrival in Bangladesh. The visitors will have their passports processed separately, the team hotel more tightly secured and the five matches played in one venue within seven days.