Bangladesh Cricket Board Expresses Concern Over Excessive Travel During Asia Cup

Jul 21, 2023

Bangladesh Cricket Board Expresses Concern Over Excessive Travel During Asia Cup Image

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has raised concerns over the demanding travel schedule for the upcoming Asia Cup. With the team set to play their opening match against Sri Lanka in Pallekele on August 31, followed by a match against Afghanistan in Lahore on September 3, and then returning to Colombo for the Super Four matches, BCB officials fear the extensive travelling could impact the team's performance in the tournament.

Jalal Younus, BCB Cricket Operation Chairman, acknowledged the challenges posed by such a hectic travel itinerary, emphasizing that it could be mentally stressful for the players. To ease the journey for teams, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) has arranged for chartered planes to transport the teams between venues. However, Younus expressed concerns about the logistical aspects, such as arriving at airports two hours early and handling luggage, which could add to the players' strain.

The air distance between Sri Lanka and Pakistan is approximately 2761 km, requiring approximately three hours of travel time. "Yes, we have to go to Lahore to play the first match. There are two matches in the first round, one in Sri Lanka and the other one is in Pakistan. We have to go as we can do nothing actually. After the 31st [August], the next match is on 3rd [September]," Younus said.

He further revealed that the ACC's decision to arrange chartered flights for the teams was a welcome move, but he emphasized the preference for a quality airline, either a national airline or a chartered plane, to ensure the players' comfort during the journey.

While acknowledging the ACC's decision on travel arrangements, Younus also stated that the impact of extensive travel on the team is inevitable. "If you travel, certainly there will be an impact, which I feel because when you are travelling by air, you will have to go two hours earlier and carry your luggage, and preparing all these things is mentally stressful. Pakistan is far away from Sri Lanka. So there is nothing to do; since it is ACC's decision, everyone is playing like this. We also have to accept it," he added.

Besides travel concerns, Jalal Younus also shed light on the fitness status of Tamim Iqbal, the Bangladesh ODI captain. Tamim had retired unexpectedly earlier this month, but after discussions with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and former captain Mashrafe Mortaza, he decided to reverse his decision. Tamim will now travel to London for consultations with physicians regarding his back issues, and the team's selection will be based on his medical condition and fitness.

The BCB awaits Tamim's assessment from London, and the final decision on his inclusion in the squad will be determined by the medical department. The team management aims to field a side with full fitness when they take on the challenging competition in the Asia Cup.