CWI sending two officials on fact-finding mission to Bangladesh

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CWI sending two officials on fact-finding mission to Bangladesh

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

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ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC) — Cricket West Indies (CWI) will be sending independent board director, Dr Akshai Mansingh and security manager, Paul Slowe to Bangladesh to conduct a detailed assessment of the country's COVID-19 response protocols ahead of a scheduled tour next January.

Mansingh is a member of the medical advisory committee of CWI and the sport's world governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), while Slowe is a former deputy police commissioner of police in Guyana and has been CWI's security manager for almost a decade.

CWI chief executive officer Johnny Grave said West Indies would be the first international team to visit Bangladesh since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and Dr Mansingh and Slowe will get first-hand knowledge of Bangladesh's readiness for the Tour.

“Acting always with the health and safety of our touring party at the forefront of our minds, we have decided to conduct a pre-tour recce by sending two highly-experienced professionals to assess the BCB's bio-secure plans and protocols,” he said.

“Our respective medical and operations teams have held a number of positive meetings over the last few weeks and following receipt of the report from our inspection team, a recommendation will be made to our board of directors on whether it is safe to tour Bangladesh early next year.”

No such pre-tour assessments were conducted before West Indies travelled to England or the current tour of New Zealand.

CWI president Ricky Skerritt said in a videoconference interview with a Bangladesh TV station on Sunday that the Tour of Bangladesh was possible, but there were genuine concerns about the country's preparedness to stage an international tour.

“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.

“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.”

Dr Mansingh and Slowe will visit all the proposed facilities for the tour in the capital city Dhaka and second city of Chattogram, attend matches in the Bangabandhu Twenty20 Cup and meet with health and security officials about the country's COVID-19 response protocols.

The Tour of Bangladesh would be the third tour for the West Indies men's team since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. They are presently in New Zealand for three T20 Internationals and two Tests.

This past June, they visited England, where they played three Tests in a bio-secure environment, marking the return of the sport on the international stage.

The West Indies Women also toured England this past September for five T20 Internationals.

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