Australia postpone Bangladesh tour after safety threat

'Credible threats against Australians' forced authorities to delay the two-Test tour.

    The threats were credible and real and targeted, according to Cricket Australia [Reuters]
    The threats were credible and real and targeted, according to Cricket Australia [Reuters]

    Australia have postponed this month's tour of Bangladesh due to safety and security concerns, the country's cricket board said.

    The team was originally scheduled to depart on Monday for the two-test series but was told to stay back after the Australian government warned of potential security risks from militants in the Asian nation.

    "Following the most recent information from Australian Government agencies and our own security advisors, we have decided that, regrettably, we have no alternative but to postpone the tour," Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland said in a statement.

    The threats were credible and real and targeted, not only against Westerners but against Australians

    James Sutherland, CA chief executive

    "The threats were credible and real and targeted, not only against Westerners but against Australians."

    CA sent a security delegation to Bangladesh over the weekend to assess the situation on the ground and while they were there, an Italian aid worker in Dhaka was shot dead.

    The delegation arrived back in Australia on Wednesday to brief government and CA officials and confirmed the cricketers could be targeted.

    CA's decision comes after a last-ditch plea by Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) for the tour to go ahead. The BCB said it had offered the team a level of security reserved for visiting heads of state.

    Australia have not played a Test match in Bangladesh for a decade and were scheduled to begin the series with a three-day warm-up match in Fatullah starting on Saturday before Tests in Chittagong from October 9 then Dhaka from October 17.

    "We have worked tirelessly to try to find a way for the tour to proceed, but in the end it was simply not possible," Sutherland said.

    "We understand that this decision will be very disappointing for the cricket community in Bangladesh.

    "However, from an Australian perspective, the safety of our players and officials is our highest priority. We will work with the BCB to reschedule the tour as soon as possible."

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.