Cricket Australia’s decision to cancel a two-Test series in Bangladesh in October citing security concerns has been a victory for extremists, Sajeeb Ahmed Wazed Joy has said in an article published in The Age.Joy, who advises his mother Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on information technology, says the cancellation is exactly what the extremists had wanted.The tour by Australia was cancelled following inputs gathered by the country’s intelligence agencies that their players could be harmed in Bangladesh.“To allow factors outside of sports to prevail, when all possible security precautions have been taken, is a victory for the extremists; it’s exactly what they wanted. And it is a loss for Australia as well as my own country,”Joy has written.He has argued that sports has always been a “vehicle of peace” that has been “time and again, used to produce great political benefits and to bring people and nations together”.And, it is in this light that he rues the cancellation of a sporting event that cricket fans of Bangladesh and Australia had eagerly looked forward to.He says the “Bangladeshi team is on the rise. Its One Day form is powerful. It was set to meet the young Australian team on its home field. And the game was almost sure to be both competitive and entertaining.“It has been nine long years since fans were able to watch Australia and Bangladesh face off.
“Bangladeshi fans and players were eager to see how their team would stack up against a young and raw Australian squad.“The cancellation of the Australian cricket team’s tour is sad for the cricket fans in both Bangladesh and Australia. It’s sad for the players and coaches.“It’s sad that politics trumped sports. Most of all, it is sad that one of the greatest vehicles for peace bowed to extremism. It shouldn’t have happened or happen again,” he has written.Joy referred to Bangladesh’s impeccable record of hosting Test cricket since 2000 without major incident.
“After receiving initial word of Australia’s concerns, the government of Bangladesh committed to providing additional security, equivalent to that accorded visiting heads of state, in addition to the standard security that was already in place.“Still, Cricket Australia abandoned its tour. The extremists’ threat won the day.”He has said he disagreed with the decision both as a cricket “fan” and as a “concerned citizen”.He also cited the dejection aired by the Australian Captain Steve Smith and cricket pundit Ian Chappel.“I say, let them play! We must not bow to the threat of violence. Rather, we should embrace the power of sports to build bridges across cultures and continents,” Joy has said.