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Cricket Australia will not risk players - Pat Howard

Cricket Australia will not risk players - Pat Howard
Executive general manager of team performance for Cricket Australia, Pat Howard, asserted that the board will not risk going ahead with the tour of Bangladesh without performing due diligence.
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Executive general manager of team performance for Cricket Australia (CA), Pat Howard, asserted that the board will not risk going ahead with the tour of Bangladesh without performing due diligence.

The fate of the Bangladesh tour was thrown into uncertainty after the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) issued a security advice warning of specific threats to Australian interests.

Howard insisted that the board is only taking steps to make sure that they react to the crucial situation in the most appropriate manner.

"This is not one of the ones you want to get wrong,” Howard told the Big Sky Breakfast radio show.

“We want to make sure we do this properly and are not panicking.

"Today is a big day, we have a lot of meetings, a lot of people on the ground.

“We want to make sure we are not under-reacting, but also not over-reacting."

Howard also feels that since the advisory by the DFAT was very specific to the Australians, the board was dealing with the matter very seriously.

"The advice we got was pretty direct against Australians and we want to make sure we're doing our due diligence.

“You just can't take these things lightly.

"We've bought ourselves 72 hours, but Cricket Australia is not going to put the players at risk."

However, Howard acknowledges that there is no problem with Bangladesh as such, but the board was only responding to the specific threat notified by the DFAT.

"We toured Bangladesh in 2014 for the World Twenty20 tournament and it was a fantastic tour.

"There's nothing wrong with Bangladesh, it's just this threat we've got over the last couple of days."

CA has sent a team consisting of their anti-corruption and security manager Sean Carroll, team manager Gavin Dovey and team security manager Frank Dimasi over to Bangladesh.

Carroll met with the president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board, Nazmul Hassan, vice-president Mahbubul Anam and the chief executive Nizam Uddin Chowdhury.

Hassan has assured the CA authorities that Bangladesh was very safe for playing cricket, but also advised them to meet the intelligence agencies for a clearer picture.

"They have information that Australian interest is under threat but that is not confined to Bangladesh, it is also in other neighbouring countries.

“This is their concern.

“But I have told them that Bangladesh is one of the safest places for cricket, especially now.

"I don't belong to the security or the intelligence agencies.

“I told them, 'If you need a clearer picture, you please talk to the intelligence.'”

The CA team will now meet Bangladesh’s Directorate General of Forces Intelligence, National Security Intelligence, the Home Minister and various departments of the Bangladesh Police before arriving at a decision about the tour.

© Cricket World 2015