Aussie T20 stars OK with Bangladesh bubble

·2-min read

Australia quick Josh Hazlewood insists his teammates are comfortable with the tight COVID-19 bubble that awaits them when they depart the Caribbean for Bangladesh next week.

Able to play golf and swim at the beach during their white-ball campaign against the West Indies, Australia's cricketers are set to return to a lockdown-style existence in their first tour of cricket-mad Bangladesh since 2017.

The five T20 games against The Tigers will be invaluable for an Australian outfit seeking more match play before the World Cup in the UAE later this year.

However, an eight-day pause in the Bangladesh's strict coronavirus lockdown for the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha had led to concerns this tour would be cancelled just as their Test tour was in 2020.

CA confirmed on Thursday the tour, featuring five games at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka from August 3 to August 9, would go ahead.

"We would like to thank our friends at the Bangladesh Cricket Board for developing a detailed bio-security plan to keep players, staff and match officials safe," CA boss Nick Hockley said.

"Both boards have worked extremely hard to do all we can to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved in the tour."

CA faced criticism for calling off their Test tour of South Africa earlier this year, while this season's IPL in India was halted because of COVID-19 and is set to be completed in the UAE in September.

Australia's cricketers have been vaccinated since the call to scrap the South African tour though and Hazlewood said they were comfortable after being briefed on what will greet them in Dhaka.

"We've had few meetings about what it's going to look like in Bangladesh," he said.

"It'll be quite tight within the bubble; in the hotel or at the cricket ground which we've done before and we're used to.

"It's quite a short trip so it'll be no dramas, we'll get that done."

Hazlewood was overlooked for Australia's 50-over World Cup squad in 2019 but has worked his way into calculations across all three formats.

He starred with 3-11 as the Aussies easily won their ODI opener against the West Indies on Wednesday (AEST) and said he had learned from watching the hosts' bowlers during their comprehensive 4-1 T20 series win that started the tour.

"Whatever your strength is you've got to stick to it and make the batter hit you off that," he said.

The second ODI of the three-game series against the West Indies is on Friday (4.30am AEST) in Bridgetown.

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