Bangladesh coach 'disappointed' at Australia virus conditions

Dhaka (AFP) –


Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo said Sunday he "couldn't understand" Australia's strict Covid-19 protocols that forced wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim to miss out on their upcoming Twenty20 series in Dhaka.

In a virtual press conference ahead of the first of five T20 matches in Dhaka on Tuesday, Domingo questioned why players had to be in a bio-secure zone at least 10 days before the series.

"I can't understand the stringent rules Australia placed. (It's) very disappointing the way they went about it," the South African said.

"But look, we want to play against the best team in the world and it's an opportunity for other one or two younger players or fringe players to come and play and I am sure they are capable.

"No Mushfiqur is surely a loss for us but we have got a big squad and some quality players to replace him."

Mushfiqur returned from Bangladesh's tour of Zimbabwe on July 14 but was then in contact with his parents, who tested positive for the virus, officials said.

Their positive results meant he could not meet the bio-bubble eligibility cut-off date of July 20, they added.

Officials said last week they tried to reduce the period to eight days for Mushfiqur, but the Australian medical team did not agree.

Opening batsman-wicketkeeper Liton Das is also sitting out the series as he did not meet the protocol, officials added.

Both teams and match officials are staying in the same hotel, which was sealed off to the general public from July 20.

The games will be held at the Sher-e-Bangla national stadium on August 3, 4, 6, 7 and 9.

Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal will miss the series due to an injury.

But Domingo said he was confident that those in Bangladesh's squad would perform well against the world's fifth-ranked T20 international team.

"There is no major injury concern. Soumya Sarkar is recovering from a mild strain that he is carrying from Zimbabwe but I am pretty confident that he will be fit," he said.

"Mitchell Starc and (Josh) Hazlewood are quality bowlers and we have looked at some of their footage. But at the end of the day you will play the ball not the man."

He added that Bangladesh need to put away any "bad balls" from the Australian star bowlers.

Bangladesh has never won a T20 match against Australia.