ICC disappointed with Australia’s withdrawal from U-19 World Cup

Dubai, Jan 5 (IANS) The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday said it was disappointed with Australia’s withdrawal from this month’s ICC Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh for security reasons, and invited Ireland to replace the three-time champions.

Cricket Australia (CA) earlier in the day announced that it has withdrawn from the 11th edition of the 16-nation tournament to be held in Bangladesh from January 27.

It said “the advice from our government suggests that the security threat to Australians travelling to Bangladesh remains as high now as it was when we postponed the Test team’s tour of that country late last year (in October)”.

But the ICC said that the 19-day tournament will be hosted in Bangladesh as planned as it has put an “appropriate” security structure in place.

“The ICC explained that its own security manager and an independent security agency had been working very closely with the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and the Bangladesh security agencies, and that the planned security arrangements satisfactorily mitigate the risks identified such that it remains appropriate for the event to continue as planned,” the ICC said in a statement.

ICC chief executive David Richardson said: “Whilst the ICC notes and respects the position of Cricket Australia, which we understand is based on an advice received from the Australian Government, we are obviously disappointed with the decision.”

“The ICC takes its responsibilities around the safety and security of ICC events extremely seriously. And taking into consideration the full and unequivocal support of the Bangladesh government that has been afforded to us at the highest level and through all local security agencies, the advice we have received from our own and independent security experts, and the robust security plan that has been developed, the ICC remains of the view that it is appropriate for event planning to continue as scheduled,” he added.

“Naturally, as part of that planning process, the ICC’s own security team, supported by an independent security agency, will continue to monitor closely the situation in Bangladesh, including all travel advisories provided by relevant government agencies.”

Richardson said the world cricket governing body is optimistic that Bangladesh will deliver a successful tournament.

“The ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup is an extremely important event on the ICC calendar, which has a reputation of producing international stars,” Richardson said.

“We remain confident that the ICC, in conjunction with the BCB, will be able to successfully deliver this event in Bangladesh.”

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