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Australia officially postpone Bangladesh tour

Australia officially postpone Bangladesh tour
Cricket Australia on Thursday officially announced its decision to postpone the Australian tour of Bangladesh tour citing security concerns.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Cricket Australia (CA) on Thursday officially announced its decision to postpone the Australian tour of Bangladesh citing security concerns.

James Sutherland, chief executive officer of CA clarified the position of his board after the Australian government advised its cricket board to not tour Bangladesh due to increasing security risk for its players. 

"This has been a very difficult decision," Sutherland said.

"Following the most recent information from Australian government agencies and our own security advisors, we have decided that, regrettably, we have no alternative but to postpone the tour."

Cricket Australia had recently sent a team to assess the situation in Bangladesh.

Upon its return the team expressed concern over its findings and advised the board against sending the Australian team for the proposed tour.

Editor's view

"It is disappointing to hear that Australia won’t tour Bangladesh, and the wait for a bilateral series between them in Bangladesh goes on.

"This is a decision that has clearly not been taken lightly, and despite Bangladesh’s offer of unprecedented levels of protection, all the advice CA has received advised them against the tour. We must respect the decision and hope that the two sides will meet in the not-too-distant future.

"You have to wonder what the long-term effects of this decision might be, though. Will Bangladesh have to consider finding a home from home like Pakistan and Afghanistan, and perhaps play matches in India or Sri Lanka? Will other countries now think twice about touring? Or should we be encouraged by seeing international cricket beginning to return to Pakistan and take the optimistic view that this will not be too damaging for Bangladesh?

"It’s a huge shame for cricket fans; those in cricket-mad Bangladesh who were mad keen to watch their improving side take on world leaders Australia, those that would have been heading to Chittagong and Dhaka to from abroad, and those of us watching from afar intrigued to see how the series would play out."

"Over the last few days we have sought to obtain as much information as possible about the risks for Australians travelling to Bangladesh.

"We had hoped that the security concerns would fade, but unfortunately the advice we have received from government, our own security experts and independent security advisors has clearly indicated that there are now high risks to our people should they make the trip," Sutherland added.

According to Sutherland, CA explored every single recourse to take the tour forward, however, they refused to take the chance on the lives of their players and decided to convey their decision to the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to postpone the tour.

"We have worked tirelessly to try to find a way for the tour to proceed, but in the end it was simply not possible.

"Given the situation, we have now advised the BCB and the International Cricket Council of our decision.

"We understand that this decision will be very disappointing for the cricket community in Bangladesh." Sutherland concluded. 

In an eventual attempt to convince CA to change their minds, Nazmul Hasan, the president of the BCB, proposed a VVIP level security offered only to the head of its states.

“We have left no stone unturned in providing assurance regarding security for the Australian team,” Hasan said in a statement issued by BCB on Wednesday.

The Football Federation Australia is closely monitoring the proceedings as they are scheduled to play Bangladesh in a World Cup qualifier game in Dhaka on 17th November.

Meanwhile the Australian Test squad has returned back to their respective state teams to feature in the domestic one-day tournament starting on Monday 5th October in Sydney.

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