Security Concerns Force West Indies U19 Withdrawal

Bangladesh U19 v West Indies U19
The West Indies Under-19 team will be heading home following strikes and protests in Bangladesh
©WICB Media

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) have made plans to bring their Under-19 team back from Bangladesh following a bomb blast close to the hotel in which the players were staying in Chittagong.

The players were not targeted by the blast and were unharmed but will be heading back to the Caribbean as protests engulf Bangladesh.

Blockades, strikes and protests threaten to bring Bangladesh to a standstill ahead of elections planned for 5th January.

West Indies' departure will be seen as a blow for the country which is due to host the ICC World Twenty20 in less than 100 days time.

However, all concerned will be hopeful that the situation will have settled down well before the ICC WT20 is scheduled to get underway on 16th March.

"The WICB's decision was taken following consideration of a report on the situation in Bangladesh as prepared by WICB Security Manager Paul Slowe," a WICB statement said.

"The report emphasized that the current security environment in Bangladesh is not conducive to the playing of cricket in light of the 72 hours nationwide blockade and calls for countrywide dawn to dusk protest. The State Department of the United States of America has also issued a travel alert to its citizens living in and travelling to Bangladesh.

"Travel arrangements are being made to allow for the team’s return to the Caribbean as quickly as possible. The team will remain safely accommodated at the team hotel under adequate security protection until departure from Bangladesh."

The West Indies had won a warm-up match by 114 runs before Bangladesh won the opening ODI by 104 runs.

The remaining six matches, due to be held in Chittagong, Fatullah and Mirpur, have been cancelled.

The development came on the same day that riots at a Brazilan football game left three fans seriously injured as the South American country, like Bangladesh, prepares to welcome the world for a global tournament next year.

© Cricket World 2013