Update October 4, 2015

Dhaka 7-16 am, 27-September, 2020

Cricket lovers of Bangladesh shocked by Australia’s tour postponement

Mirajul Moin Joy

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland

4 October 2015, Nirapad News: Cricket Australia has postponed the Australian national cricket team’s scheduled visit to Bangladesh on the plea of security alerts they received from ASIO and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

The alert stated about possible terrorist attack on Australian interest in Bangladesh. CA had sent its security chief to Dhaka to assess law and order. He had meetings with the home minister and chiefs of different security agencies.

The Bangladesh government gave the Australians assurances of the highest level of security for their cricket players and team officials. However, the assurance for protection by Bangladesh government was not considered enough. The announcement by the CA about postponement of Australia’s Test tour in Bangladesh has definitively shocked the cricket lovers of Bangladesh, said observers.

Experts said on Saturday, although the law and order in Bangladesh were within the control of the government excepting a few isolated incidents in Dhaka and a northern district, Australia Cricket had took a decision to call off the much-awaited two-match Test tour for a security reason which seems not to be clear.

They said barring a few incidents in Dhaka’s diplomatic zone and a northern district, there has been no single incident in the playground or anywhere in Bangladesh where a foreign player came under attack or faced threat in the last one decade.

People from all walks of life were expecting that Australia will take a decision in favour of embarking on the tour in late September. They were so hospitable to Australian cricket teams when they visitors had been in the country in the past.

Observers said there were genuine expectations that Australian government would positively respond to the assurances made by the Bangladesh Government and keep the tour going. Even, no one could have thought that the CA would finally postpone the tour as they are not aware exactly what type of security threats Australian citizens or Australian interest in Bangladesh were facing.

They said Bangladesh very successfully organised the ICC Cricket World Cup, T20 World Cup, Asia Cup and many bilateral cricket series.

Even this year Bangladesh hosted bilateral series against Pakistan, India and South Africa. Cricketers in Bangladesh are celebrities and get VVIP attention. Experts here believe that cricket and cricketers have no cause for concern in Bangladesh.

The Australian team was due to arrive in Dhaka on September 28, 2015. People in Bangladesh celebrated Holy Eid-ul-Azha, the second largest religious festival of the Muslims, on September 25. Even the cricket gears of the team were sent to Bangladesh in advance.

Australian High Commissioner even invited many to a dinner in Dhaka he planned for the Australian team. CA reportedly suddenly received advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade about possible terrorist attack on Australian interest in Bangladesh.

The security chief of Cricket Australia had useful meetings in Dhaka. He was given assurance of state level security for the Australian team. He went back and submitted report. But the CA decision came suddenly of postponing the tour.

Observers believe that cancellation of the tour will not leave a lasting impact on bilateral relations of the two friendly countries. Neither Australia nor Bangladesh would like that to happen.

Bangladesh is going to host Australian Soccer Team (Socceroos) in November this year. The ICC under 19 World Cup will be in Bangladesh in early 2016. DFAT is partnering with different ministries of Bangladesh in many areas.

Observers and cricket lovers hope that the cricket tour will be weighed in the context of excellent bilateral relation of the two governments. Bengal Tigers are hoping to host the Aussie cricketers, Socceroos and other teams from the country in the coming days.

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