New Zealand's Test tour of Bangladesh postponed over coronavirus
New Zealand will not be travelling to Bangladesh for their two-Test series in August as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the international sporting calendar.
The two Tests between the two sides were part of the ICC World Test Championship but they will now be played at a later date subject to an open window once the COVID-19 crisis subsides.
The number of COVID-19 infections in Bangladesh has risen at an alarming rate over the past few weeks with the cases now surging past 115,000 while over 1,500 people have died.
In recent days, three members of the Bangladesh cricket fraternity including former skipper Mashrafe Mortaza have been confirmed to have tested positive for the coronavirus.
"In the present COVID-19 pandemic scenario, hosting a full cricket series in August 2020 will be a challenge in terms of preparations," Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury said.
He added that the stakeholders involved in the series were not ready to risk the safety of players, support staff and broadcasters even though Test cricket is gradually making a return in England.
"Under these circumstances, the BCB and NZC (New Zealand Cricket) have felt that the best way forward would be to defer the series," he added.
"We realise that this will be hugely disappointing for the players and officials of both teams, not to mention the fans of the two nations, but I must thank NZC for its understanding and for recognising the rationale behind such a decision."
The final Test of the last series between New Zealand and Bangladesh was called off abruptly in the wake of the Christchurch shootings after the Black Caps had gained an unassailable 2-0 lead. The Bangladesh squad managed to survive the attack as the players were on their way to the hotel from one of the mosques targetted in the bloodbath.