We may target the Asia Cup for preparation: Akram | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 03, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:36 AM, July 03, 2020

We may target the Asia Cup for preparation: Akram

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) cricket operations chairman Akram Khan reiterated that the unprecedented situation caused by the pandemic had rendered the board unable to make a move, which led to the postponement of the Sri Lanka tour. For now, the BCB may be looking to get back onto the training pitch with shorter-version cricket in mind.

"Right now, we have some plans in place and the coaches are ready to come in as well. You need more time to prepare for Tests and thus we couldn't go to Sri Lanka. When the coronavirus pandemic first emerged, it caused panic, it took us some time to grasp the situation. We couldn't just make a rushed decision and go there. The bowlers would need at least a month to get back bowling fitness," Akram told The Daily Star yesterday. He clarified that when the cricketers do come back, a certain amount of time will have to be given to get back into shape if restart takes place with longer-version cricket.

Akram mentioned that they may target the Asia Cup as a way of bringing players back to the field for preparation. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) are looking into the possibility of hosting the Asia Cup in September or October but Sri Lanka remain the most likely venue given the coronavirus situation in the island-nation.

"We may target the Asia Cup since preparation for the shorter version is relatively easier. We have to discuss these things. I have been in touch with the players and everyone is upset at not being able to play or train but the situation is not improving and that is a cause for anxiety," he said.

BCB are looking at the probability of starting to get into gear after Eid. There is doubt regarding whether getting the players back onto the field without a set target would benefit anyone but at the same time Akram acknowledged that doing exercises at home is a lot different that training on the field. "There is a whole lot of difference in being able to train on the field compared to maintaining fitness at home. It's very hard to cover that gap," he said.

"Some players requested individual training before Eid but they could not practice as the situation became difficult. We will resume as soon as the situation becomes normal, hopefully after Eid," he added.

The situation in countries like Australia and New Zealand have enabled them to restart cricketing activities earlier than most. England will play the first bilateral series since the pandemic when they take on the West Indies at home next week.  However, the situation in South Africa has not improved and, on Wednesday, Cricket South Africa announced that cricket would be returning with a three-team domestic tournament from July 18.

Akram reiterated that with not much possibility of international cricket on the horizon, focus should be on restructuring domestic cricket. "We should have a serious look about restructuring domestic cricket since we may have to do without international cricket for a while," he said. 

 

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