DHAKA—The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) won’t allow spectators in the stadium during the forthcoming Bangabandhu T20 Cup, thinking about the health risk, caused by the novel coronavirus.
Thousands of football fans enjoyed football at Bangabandhu National Stadium on Friday during Bangladesh’s match against Nepal. The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) gave 8,000 spectators the opportunity to enter the gallery, following standard health protocol.
However, the BCB is not walking that path. BCB director and media committee chairman Jalal Yunus said spectators would not be allowed to enter the field in the upcoming Bangabandhu T20 Cup.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all kinds of sports events in the country were stopped last March. Although cricket was played in September, football started in the second week of November. The match against Nepal on Friday was the first football competition of Bangladesh amid Covid-19 pandemic.
“I know it’s a matter of emotion,” Jalal Younus told the reporters.
“After a long time the football game has been brought back in the country and the spectators have come there. But we will not allow the spectators, thinking of the health risk of others. This is our plan and the stadium will be without spectators.”
Even the BCB won’t organize the opening ceremony of the tournament due to the risk.
“Officially, we do not have any opening ceremony because of the current situation,” he remarked.
The tournament will be held in a bio-secure environment with five teams and around 150 people including 80 cricketers. Managing such a huge number of people in a bio-bubble would be a tougher task but BCB hoped they could organize it successfully to give a message to the rest of the world.
“The cricketers will check-in the hotel on November 20 and from then they will be in a bio-bubble. The team can arrange practice sessions on their own before then,” he informed.
Before entering into the bio-secure bubble, the players, officials and staff of the hotel will undergo a Covid-19 test.
The much-anticipated Bangabandhu T20 Cup will be held on November 24. All the matches of the five-team tournament will be played at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur.BSS