Shakib Al Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman will get no match practice before the Sri Lanka series as they quickly head back to Bangladesh after the sudden postponement of Indian Premier League (IPL) season 14.
Bangladesh will face Sri Lanka in a three-match ODI series that will kick off on May 23 but the mainstays of the Bangladesh side will be spending two weeks in the mandatory quarantine after returning from COVID-hit India.
According to Cricbuzz, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) representative requested the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) to give the players a bit of leeway in quarantine rules but Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, who is the director-general of DGHS, declined the request and made it clear that the two-week institutional quarantine cannot be evaded.
In wake of IPL postponement owing to Covid positive cases in several franchises, the original plan for three-day quarantine was scrapped and instead of reaching Bangladesh on May 19, now both players will fly to Dhaka within the next two days to commence their quarantine.
"There is no flight at the moment, so if they have to come, they will have to come on a special arrangement,'' BCB chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
"They will have to do 14-day institutional quarantine. BCB had applied to us for them (reducing the quarantine period) but we have informed them that they don't have any other choice but to follow the rule that is applicable for everyone," said the director-general of DGHS.
They have to complete the quarantine in our specified quarantine centre and that can be either Hotel Sonargaon or Hotel Raddison," he added.
Bangladesh head coach is not too perturbed with the tight scheduling and unavailability of players right before the series perhaps because, given the wealth of experience that Mustafizur and Shakib carry, it wouldn't take long for them to acclimatize to the conditions and warm up to the task.
"Players will have three days of practice before the Eid vacation. And good to have Shakib and Mustafizur back when they do arrive. 'The next series will be important as qualification points are up for the grabs. We need to bounce back after a tough series in New Zealand," said Domingo.
"I've seen Mustafizur bowl good cutters. Those types of wickets are really helping his type of bowling and good to see him having a good campaign so far," added Domingo.