Sri Lanka is scheduled to tour Bangladesh for a three-match ODI series in May 2021. It has been more than a year since the pandemic has been shaking the world International cricket as well domestic cricket tournaments have been resuming slowly in different countries around the world and this announcement shall come as a relief to many fans who have been looking forward to cricketing tournaments.
The Indian Premier League has been postponed due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 among the players and other officials associated with the tournament and thus this tournament can therefore fill in the vacuum created in cricket. All three matches will be held at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium of Dhaka, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has announced. As per the reports, there has not been any clarification made on whether in-person attendance shall be allowed in the matches. Let us have a look at the various details of the ODI series to understand what it might have to offer us, the audience.
Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are both cricketing nations hailing from South Asia and are known to share a healthy cricketing rivalry. The two teams played their last match just last week in the recently concluded Bangladesh tour of Sri Lanka. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka played two test against each other in this series. This test series was won by Sri Lanka 1-0. The first match of the series was drawn. This was the final series of both the teams of the World Test Cricket Championship. Neither of the teams could qualify to the final of the World Test Championship. India and New Zealand are the two teams which have qualified for the final.
However, Bangladesh is better placed than Sri Lanka in one day cricket. This is the third series of Bangladesh within the ICC World Cup qualifying stage. They drubbed West Indies 3-0 in January 2021. This was however followed by a 3-0 loss to New Zealand in March. Bangladesh are now placed sixth in the rankings. On the other hand, Sri Lanka is now placed twelfth in the rankings. It had lost to West Indies 3-0 last month in an ODI series and are not well-placed in one day cricket. Therefore, the confidence that Sri Lanka might have gained by winning the test series against Bangladesh may not be of much use here owing to their own performances in ODIs. While Bangladesh will try to better its own ranking by winning Sri Lanka, the latter would try to reclaim its status in one day cricket.
All cricket around the world is being held by bio-bubbles. These are being created to avoid the virus, and players are asked to strictly adhere to the norms and live only in these bubbles. Many players, including Virat Kohli, have spoken about the frustration of living in bio-bubbles but that is the only way to keep the pandemic at bay at this point of time. These matches are also being held in bio-bubbles. Sri Lanka is the second team to arrive for a tour in Bangladesh this year after West Indies.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board had hosted the West Indian cricket team in January and February for two tests and three ODIs which were also held in bio-bubbles. More concerns are being raised this time because Bangladesh are in the middle of a lockdown. The country is facing the second wave of pandemic. The lockdown began on April 5 and will end on the 16th of May. International flight suspension however has ceased.
The Sri Lankan cricket team is slated to arrive on the 16th of May. This shall be followed by three days of quarantine. Practice sessions shall be held after this and the first of these shall be held on the 19th of May on the National Cricket Academy ground. A practise match has been scheduled on the 21st of May. The matches will be a part of ICC’s Super ODI league. They shall be held on the 23rd, 25th and 28th of May at Sher-e-Bangla stadium of Dhaka. The Sri Lankan shall be departing on the 29th of May.
The two teams are at two very different places in one day cricket. Bangladesh is better placed and shall be having the home advantage. Conditions are not vastly different from that of Sri Lanka but still the visitors need to be careful. Overall, we have some good cricket coming up!