Australia remain hopeful Bangladesh tour can go ahead despite security concerns

Published: Sunday 27th September 2015 by The News Editor

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Australia are still keen for their tour of Bangladesh to go ahead and hope to have a better understanding of the security situation on Monday, Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland has said.

The team had initially been due to leave for a two-Test series in Bangladesh on Monday but those plans were put on hold following advice from the Australian government, which on Friday warned of possible attacks to Australian interests in the Asian country.

CA chief executive Sutherland gave an update on the situation on Sunday, telling a press conference in Brisbane that they want the tour to go ahead as scheduled but emphasising that the security of the travelling party was paramount.

He said: “(CA) head of security Sean Carroll is on his way to Bangladesh. He’ll be arriving very shortly to get an understanding of the state of things there.

“Our position is that we want the tour to go ahead as planned. This has obviously come very suddenly, and we’ve needed to make this response.

“Our preferred position is to continue with the tour but the safety and security of our players and staff is the absolute priority, and the first priority for us is to secure that, and we’ll be endeavouring to get some undertakings and understanding of what the situation is in Bangladesh before we make further decisions in regard to the tour.

“Meetings will commence on Monday and we’ll have a much better understanding of things from there.”

Australia were scheduled to play a practice game in Fatullah on October 3 followed by Tests in Chittagong and Mirpur starting on October 9 and October 17, respectively.

Australia have not played in Bangladesh since three ODIs in 2011, with their last Test in the country taking place in 2006.

Sutherland added: “It’s a very important tour for both Australia and Bangladesh.

“Bangladesh are a team on the rise – their performances in recent times have been very, very good.

“From our perspective, we’ve got a young team under a new captain that’s very much looking forward to the opportunity to play in subcontinental conditions and it would be a shame for the tour not to go ahead.

“We’re very much hoping that it will, but the circumstances at the moment mean that we’ve made the decision to defer our departure.”

Published: Sunday 27th September 2015 by The News Editor

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