‘Australia tour suspension saddest episode in Bangladesh cricket’

Dhaka, Oct 2 (IANS) The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is extremely frustrated with Australia’s decision to postpone their Bangladesh tour over security concerns.

Cricket Australia (CA) announced the move around on Thursday, ending six days of uncertainty about the two-Test series, bdnews24.com.

BCB chief Nazmul Hassan said it is the saddest episode in Bangladesh cricket.

“We are disappointed, saddened and shocked. Such a tragic episode took place when Bangladesh had been going through very good times. We’re very shocked at this decision,” Hassan said in an official statement later.

The board president is unwilling to accept Australia’s concerns for safety against possible terrorist threats.

“They have postponed the tour citing security reasons. Many countries have threats of such terrorist attacks, but playing hasn’t stopped for that. The most important thing is, with the sort of security we offered there was no chance for disruption in the game or (any harm being done to) their players.”

“It (terrorist attack on players) is not possible in Bangladesh. If you see Bangladesh’s history, such incident never happened (here), neither is it possible.”

The Australian security delegation that came down to Dhaka was allowed to meet all the security and intelligence agencies and the prime minister’s security advisor within a day and a half.

Bangladesh assured maximum security for the touring Australian team. Hassan cannot put his finger on the reason that stopped the Aussies from coming here.

“I am still not clear why they suspended the tour. Any security person would (have been convinced about the players’ safety) if they saw the security plans we gave them.”

He believes the murder of an Italian aid worker in the capital during the security team’s stay played a key role in Australia’s decision.

“Their perspective changed a bit after assailants shot dead an Italian citizen. All the incidents occurred at such a time… this happened soon when we were going ahead with security plans following the (DFAT) alert.”

“After that, other countries also issued alert. Their players might have panicked with all these things happening all at once.”

The Australian team delayed its departure to Bangladesh last Saturday after being warned by their Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade against a potential security risk from militants last Friday.

The board chief thinks the people of Bangladesh have been left wanting.

“No doubt we have suffered losses. Everyone in the country of 16 crore were looking forward to Australia coming here and the series would be played … The spectators have been deprived.”

The BCB, however, is now thinking of organising the series again as soon as possible.

“They did not cancel the tour but postponed it. We are in discussion with them. I am going to the ICC meeting on October 9. There, I will discuss in details with them about how the tour can again be arranged soon.”

“We are hopeful that we can find time soon (for the series) given the relation we have with Cricket Australia.”

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