Australia’s Bangladesh cricket tour doubtful
The security delegation that was sent to Bangladesh to determine whether or not it was safe for Australia’s cricket team to visit the Asian country are on their way home, prompting speculation the tour will be called off.
Australia batting all-rounder Steve Smith was to lead the team as captain on tour in Bangladesh.
While an Australian security contingent talked with different officials of law enforcement and security agencies of Bangladesh over safety and security measures, the killing of Italian Cesare Tavella Monday evening seemingly further complicated the situation.
An online statement in the name of the hardline Islamist group Islamic State later claimed responsibility for the attack, saying his attackers followed him and shot him dead.
After their meeting with Carroll, the statement says, “They have information that Australian interest is under threat but that is not confined to Bangladesh, it is also in other neighbouring countries”.
According to Cricket AU, “Cricket Australia’s security entourage have with the upper echelons of Bangladesh’s National security” to decide on the future of the series.
“These are two separate things and I believe the Australian team can safely come to Bangladesh for their scheduled matches”.
CA calling home its staff comes as the Bangladesh Cricket Board continues to press ahead with arrangements, last night announcing their Test squad for the proposed two-Test series and beginning the media accreditation process.
The trio were expected to meet with Department of Foreign Affairs officials on Wednesday before briefing the CA board, management and players.
The governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada have all followed suit in warning their citizens of possible militant attacks.
“The highest security protocol will be provided for the Australian cricket team”, Khan told reporters.
“We’re fully prepared for the cricketers. We want to make sure we are not under-reacting, but also not over-reacting”.
The first Test is scheduled to get under way on October 9 at Chittagong.
The domestic one-day competition starts on Monday and goes for three weeks, with all matches to be played in Sydney.
However, their departure was put on hold on the back of a warning from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT) of “reliable information” of a threat to Australians in Bangladesh. “They still haven’t said no… we can only after take any steps after they respond”.
The Bangladeshi officials are not commenting on how serious they are taking the possibility that this was ISIS, and police still seem to be treating the death as a major, albeit a premeditated one.