Cricket West Indies (CWI) officials, currently in Bangladesh to inspect the bio-security plans and health protocols in the country ahead of a proposed tour next month, are "very impressed" with the "concise and tight" arrangements. The three-format tour could yet be shortened, but question marks hanging over it might have been dispelled for the time being.
Dr Akshai Mansingh, the CWI director, and security manager Paul Slowe arrived in Dhaka on November 28, and conducted a survey of facilities in Dhaka and Chattogram, including at airports, hotels, stadia, practice facilities and hospitals over the past few days. They will now report their observations to the CWI board of directors, who will then make a decision on the tour.
"The protocols that were described to us by the BCB were very, very well thought out," Mansingh said at a press interaction. "The fact that there has been three competitions prior to our coming and one [Bangabandhu T20 Cup] going on now obviously, they are well practiced [with bio-secure bubbles]. We are very happy with what we saw in Dhaka and Chattogram. The facilities are excellent. The Covid protocols are concise and tight.
"The national approach, both in the hotels and hospitals that we visited, comply with all international standards recommended for Covid-19. From a medical point of view, we are very happy and we now have to present our findings to the board of directors of CWI. I am very confident what we saw is probably as good an arrangement as you can have anywhere in the world."
Mansingh said that the tour dates hadn't yet been firmed up, mainly because of the quarantine protocols that the West Indies team would have to adhere to before and after arriving in Bangladesh.
"According to Covid protocols, there will be at least seven days where we have to make sure we are not contaminating Bangladesh," he said. "So we have to make sure we are in quarantine. It is not just days, but negative tests as well. There have to be at least one negative tests before coming and three negative tests while in Bangladesh. That period is usually seven days, and that's why the exact dates have to be worked out now.
"Certainly for the first three days, we suggest in-room quarantine. After the third day, we do a second test. After that is negative, we would like to do some practicing within our squad, but not exposing ourselves to anybody else until seven days are passed. We will have inter-squad practice and activities. After Day 7, the recommendation is that we should have net sessions with Bangladeshi players," he said.
The BCB hasn't hosted any international cricket during the pandemic, with Australia and New Zealand having postponed their tours scheduled for June and August respectively. Bangladesh also haven't toured any country, having come close to going to Sri Lanka before that tour was called off in September.