NCL 2021 matches postponed amid surge in Covid-19 cases in Bangladesh


On Thursday, the country recorded the highest single-day Covid-19 numbers

The third round matches of the National Cricket League (NCL) have been postponed, as Bangladesh deals with a surge in Covid-19 cases, the numbers going up over the last two weeks.

On Thursday, the country’s health authority confirmed that a record 6469 had tested positive for the virus – the highest single-day figure yet in the country – while 59 people have died, which is the most in the last nine months.

Two of the NCL’s four matches from the previous round, completed on Thursday, were held in Cox’s Bazar, the seaside town, which is now regarded as a Covid-19 hotspot. The government has ordered closure of all tourist spots in Cox’s Bazar, something that will affect movement in the region.

The BCB had earlier announced that it would hold the NCL’s third round matches in Cox’s Bazar and Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Prothisthan, the sports institute 40 kilometres north of Dhaka, although matches were also held in Khulna, Barisal and Rangpur in the first two rounds.

There has also been a rise in Covid-19 cases among players taking part in the NCL. In their previous round match against Dhaka Division, Sylhet Division struggled to put an XI in the field after six of their players – including captain Alok Kapali and Khaled Ahmed – tested positive. There have also been reports of cases in the Rangpur Division team.

The delay in the NCL may affect the schedule of the Dhaka Premier League, which is scheduled to start on May 6.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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