Heat wave hits school cricket in Bangladesh

Heat wave hits school cricket in Bangladesh

BCB school cricket matches will be reduced from 50-over competitions to 20-over games due to the heatwave in Bangladesh. Temperatures have been consistently above 40 degrees Celsius for most of April and forecasters are calling it the longest heat wave in the country’s history.

“In consideration of the current heat wave that has affected the country, the BCB age group tournament committee has decided that starting today (April 29), all remaining matches of the divisional round of the Prime Bank tournament National School Cricket will be played in Twenty20 format,” the BCB said in a statement.

According to BCB game development director AEM Kawsar, 64 district teams are participating in the competition held across 14 venues in Bangladesh.

“We have ordered all the referees to complete the matches before 12:30 pm,” Kawsar told ESPNcricinfo. “We have even advised them to start the matches at 8:30, if the teams agree. The usual start time is 9:00. There will also be a drink break every 40 minutes. We provide them with enough ice, juice of lemon and of course water. In some places, where possible, we provide ice baths. The good thing is that each place has adequate cooling facilities in the changing rooms.

There will be a total of 57 matches, with the initial knockout rounds followed by a group stage for the knockouts before the semi-finals and final. It is the largest cricket competition of the BCB and started in the early 1980s.

The Dhaka Premier League, however, continues under this oppressive heat. The Super League phase of the one-day tournament is ongoing and the remaining matches are likely to end in early May. These are the only domestic tournaments currently being played, mainly due to Ramadan falling during the cricket season in March.

The country’s Ministry of Education had ordered that schools, colleges and universities remain closed from April 21 to 25. The closure continues until May 2. The temperature rose to 45 degrees Celsius in some parts of the country, including the capital Dhaka. So far there have been more than 30 heat-related deaths and hundreds have been hospitalized.