|Published : 19 Apr 2017, 21:36:42|
Australia edge closer to Bangladesh tour
A Bangladesh Cricket Board senior official has indicated he believes a proposed Test tour by Steve Smith's Australians will go ahead later this year. Australia had been scheduled to play two Tests and a tour match in Dhaka and Chittagong in October 2015, but the tour was postponed due to security concerns, reports cricket.com.au.
The prospect of a two-Test series in August and September this year had been raised by Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland in January, but the tour has not been confirmed. On Tuesday, BCB chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury said he expected the two Tests to be played in Dhaka. "We are now working on the schedule and other details with CA," Chowdhury told AFP. Australia have not played in Bangladesh since Ricky Ponting's team toured there in 2006 and, outside major tournaments, the two nations have played just two ODI series against each other in Darwin (2008) and Dhaka (2011) since then.
A CA spokesperson said the safety of players and officials would determine the fate of any tour. "We are still hopeful of touring Bangladesh in the near future and are working closely with the BCB to look at options, but the safety of players and officials will always come first," the CA spokesperson said. "We will continue to monitor advice from ASIO, DFAT and our own security advisers about the security risk for any future tours of the Australian team in Bangladesh and make a decision based on this advice closer to any potential tour." Quick Single: Downpours, dust-ups and Dizzy's double Australia's departure for Bangladesh in 2015 was delayed just 48 hours before they were due to fly out following security advice received from the Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. CA also refused to send a team to last year's Under-19 World Cup in Dhaka due to security concerns. CA's anti-corruption and security manager Sean Carroll visited Bangladesh last October to monitor security arrangements as England toured the country for a month-long series. That toured passed without incident, with England having been given an unprecedented level of security, and prompted CA CEO Sutherland to declare in January he was confident Australia would return in 2017.
"I think they're quite high," Sutherland told ABC radio during January's SCG Test of the chances Australia would tour Bangladesh in 2017. "What we saw at the end of last year was the England team tour Bangladesh and we saw very strong security around the team. We sent our head of security Sean Carroll over to observe for seven to 10 days, just to get a little bit of comfort on the systems and processes that are in place. "I suppose anything can happen between now and then and we continue to monitor what happens in Bangladesh, but we work on the assumption that we're going to play and we start to plan accordingly.
"We certainly get a great deal of comfort from the way the security measures were put in place by the Bangladesh government in conjunction with the cricket board over there. "At the moment, I would be assuming that we would be playing two Tests over there. They're tentative dates around August or September, I would think."
If the postponed Test series was rescheduled for August-September (when all Test nations have a break in the schedule that was originally to be filled by the now defunct Champions League), it would mean Australia could face around two months on the subcontinent immediately prior to the 2017-18 Ashes summer, with an ODI series in India in October also yet to be confirmed. The first Ashes Test begins in Brisbane on November 23.