Ausies’ tour of Bd remains in doubt for security concerns

Ausies’ tour of Bd remains in doubt for security concerns

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Australia’s tour of Bangladesh remains in serious danger of being called off despite a series of meetings on Monday between Bangladesh officials and Cricket Australia’s security chief.
CA’s Sean Carroll has been briefed by Bangladesh’s security bosses in Dhaka, as cricket sources continue to suggest next month’s two-Test tour is unlikely to go ahead.Captain Steve Smith’s squad was due to leave on Monday, but CA announced on Saturday night that the tour was under review following a warning from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
DFAT’s website says there is reliable information which suggests “militants may be planning to target Australian interests in Bangladesh”.
“There has been no change to the situation or our current position,” a CA spokesman said on Monday night.
“Our head of security has had a number of meetings with Bangladeshi government and cricket officials in Dhaka today.”
We are also continuing to liaise closely with the Australian government on the matter.”
Bangladesh Cricket Board’s president Nazmul Hassan has told Carroll Bangladesh is one of the safest places for cricket.
Australian Cricketers’ Association chief Alistair Nicholson says the players’ body is working through various security issues with CA.
“We’re awaiting further updates from security experts in Bangladesh who’ve been gathered greater detail today about the environment and a better understanding of any risks,” Nicholson said.
“We’ll continue to work with CA and keep the players up to speed with any updated information in the short term.”
The Herald Sun understands some players have reservations about touring Bangladesh for a two-Test series starting on October 9 in Chittagong.
A three-day game against a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI is due to start in Dhaka on Saturday.
If the tour doesn’t proceed, Smith’s men will be available for Australia’s domestic one-day tournament, the Matador Cup. The tournament starts in Sydney on October 5.
The first round of the Sheffield Shield season begins on October 27 and A three-Test series against New Zealand starts on November 5 at the Gabba. – Herald Sun
Mwnawhile, NDTV reported – Australia’s two-Test tour to Bangladesh remained on hold Wednesday with players returning to their home states after new warnings about security in the south Asian nation.(CA Staff Leave Bangladesh With Tour in Doubt)
Cricket Australia delayed the departure of the Test team on Sunday after receiving advice from foreign ministry officials that militants may be planning attacks on Australian interests in the country.
“There has been no change to the situation or our current position,” a Cricket Australian official told AFP via email.(Bangladesh Confident of Tour Going Ahead)
“While we’re waiting for a decision, players have been asked to re-join their state training programs.”
Bangladesh has insisted that the players will be given the level of security usually reserved for visiting heads of state, with Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan saying the “highest security protocol” would be provided.
But the death of an Italian aid worker in Dhaka’s diplomatic quarter — shot three times on Monday night by attackers who fled on a motorcycle in a murder claimed by Islamic State group — has escalated safety fears.
International schools in Bangladesh were closed on Tuesday while Western embassies restricted their diplomats’ movements.
The British Foreign Office has warned against attending gatherings of westerners in Bangladesh due to “reliable information” militants may be planning to target western interests.
The US embassy in Dhaka said its diplomats would be barred from attending international hotels and advised citizens to follow suit.
“There is reliable new information to suggest that militants may be planning to target Australian interests in Bangladesh,” the embassy said in a security message.
“Such attacks, should they occur, could likely affect other foreigners , including US citizens.”
Australian team officials travelled back from the Bangladesh capital on Tuesday after talks with senior security and intelligence figures, including Khan.
They were expected to meet with Australian foreign ministry officials Wednesday as well as Cricket Australia’s board, management and players.
Bangladesh prides itself on being a mainly moderate Muslim country. But the gruesome killings of four atheist bloggers this year rocked the nation and sparked a crackdown on hardline Islamist groups.
Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hassan, who also met with the Australian officials early this week, said the delayed departure of Steve Smith’s team had been very disappointing.
“There is no risk for them in Bangladesh,” Hassan told reporters Monday.
With the first Test scheduled to start on October 9, Australia’s World Cup football qualifier against Bangladesh in Dhaka on November 17 could also be at risk.

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