Australian cricket’s tour of Bangladesh has been called off on Thursday following high-level meetings about threats of militant attacks.
Cricket Australia (CA) announced that the two-Test series, slated to start on Saturday with a tour game, has been abandoned in the wake of the threats.
CA’s security staff briefed the peak body’s board and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Wednesday, having returned from meetings in Bangladesh.
DFAT citing intelligence about possible militant attacks on Australian interests in Bangladesh, have blocked Australia’s squad from departing.
In a final attempt to persuade Cricket Australia to have a change of heart, Nazmul Hassan, the president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board, revealed an unprecedented level of security for a touring nation would be supplied.
“We have left no stone unturned in providing assurance regarding security for the Australian team,” Hassan said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The Bangladesh Government has committed additional security on top of the substantial and elaborate arrangements in the BCB’s standard Security Plan for international cricket.
“For the team (Australia) the level has been confirmed as VVIP which is equivalent to security accorded to Head of States and is unprecedented for any international side.
“We are still hopeful that a fresh date for arrival of it’s team will be declared by CA and we will see some exciting cricket on the ground soon.
“It is worth mentioning that during the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014, when the risk which was assessed by Australia was of a higher level to what is at present.
“Safety and security was successfully provided to 24 men’s and women’s teams including the Australian men’s and women’s squads as well as to officials and guests who arrived for the event.”
Australian soccer is also monitoring the outcome of the cricket crisis, with the Socceroos scheduled to play Bangladesh in a World Cup qualifier in Dhaka on November 17.
Australia’s Test squad have returned to state ranks for training and are now expected to feature in the domestic one-day tournament starting Monday in Sydney.