DHAKA, Bangladesh (CMC) — A Tour of Bangladesh in January will usher in the new year for West Indies.
But Cricket West Indies (CWI) President Ricky Skerritt said the safety of the players will be of utmost importance before it can take place.
The tour — part of the Future Tours Programme of the International Cricket Council (ICC), the sport’s world governing body — is currently scheduled to feature three Tests, which will count towards the ICC World Test Championship, three One-Day and three Twenty20 internationals.
But officials from the two cricket boards are currently trying to iron out satisfactory safety protocols that will protect the players from the risk of catching the novel coronavirus.
“We want to be sure that the protocols established in Bangladesh meet the requirement that we have established so far in the various tours we have been on,” Skerritt told the Dhaka-based Maasranga TV.
“There are case studies to benchmark from. This is not going to be the first overseas tour. As you know, we did the first overseas tour to England.
“Certain standards were set, certain learnings were achieved, and I think once Bangladesh can meet those standards, I don’t think there’s going to be any major problem.
“We just have to verify in our own way that the situation will be safe for all concerned.”
Skerritt said once the safety standards are met, the “best available” West Indies team will make the trip to Bangladesh, and the Tests may be reduced to two.
“There has been an option to reduce from three to two Tests, but it is not finalised yet,” Skerritt said.
“It will be finalised within the next few days. The problem is [that] we have to look at it from all perspectives, that of COVID-19, scheduling and cost.”
He said: “These days, the pressures that COVID-19 have brought to world cricket are significant in terms of revenue.
“We want to come to Bangladesh because we respect the relationship and the bilateral agreements that we have.”
At the end of the month, it will be one full year since Bangladesh has played an international match.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board is eager to bring that scenario to an end and they are considering all of the options to make things work.
“I just want to assure you that we will always send the best available team to any tour that we undertake, including to Bangladesh,” Skerritt said.
“We believe a tour to Bangladesh is always a challenging tour because it is an environment that’s very different to our own conditions. But we have always done well in Bangladesh. Our players enjoy playing against Bangladesh.”
West Indies are currently on the Tour of New Zealand. It is their second tour during the novel coronavirus pandemic, making them the only international team to do so.
They were the first international team to resume tours following a global lockdown because of the virus, when they visited England this past June for a series of three Tests.