The Australia cricket team reportedly will tour Bangladesh after all — though Tigers fans will need to wait until 2017, possibly late in the year, for the visit of the world-power Australia side. Nonetheless, the possibility of the tour taking place at all is important news for Bangladesh cricket, after Australia has been scheduled for a short tour in 2015, but cancelled due to worries over security.
The chief of Cricket Australia said that “offline” discussions have taken place to make the tour happen.
— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) April 27, 2016
“We’ve had discussions offline with the Bangladesh Cricket Board. They know and understand that we’re absolutely committed to playing that tour, obviously subject to security matters that we need to go through in preparation for that tour,” James Sutherland said. “But we’re very much looking forward to getting back to Bangladesh and playing cricket over there.”
The Australia tour of Bangladesh had been set for October of 2015, and would have consisted of one tour match and two Test matches, one in Dhaka and one in Chittagong.
Bangladesh and Australia most recently faced each other on March 21 in India, during the group stage of the ICC T20 World Cup. Watch highlights of that match — a three-wicket win for Australia — in the following video.
A mere 48 hours before the Australia cricket team was supposed to get on a plane and fly to Bangladesh last October, Cricket Australia said that they received information from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade about a security threat, the specifics of which were not revealed publicly.
At first, Australia announced that the tour had merely been delayed, but after about one week, Cricket Australia pulled out altogether.
Whatever the threat had been, it was apparently still in place by the following January, when the Australia Under-19 cricket team was scheduled to compete in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh. But the Under-19 team was also forced to withdraw on “advice” from the Australian government.
“The security threat to Australians travelling to Bangladesh remains as high now as it was when we postponed the Test team’s tour of that country late last year,” Sutherland said at the time. “Included in that is reliable information suggesting there is a high threat to Australian interests in Bangladesh.”
Apparently, however, those security threats are expected to be alleviated by next year.
“After discussions with Cricket Australia, we are at the final stages of finalising the commitment for their tour to Bangladesh next year, and we will announce the tour dates once everything is confirmed,” Bangladesh Cricket Board CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury said on Wednesday, according to a report in the Dhaka Tribune.
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The tour is expected to take place no earlier than June, immediately following the ICC Champions Trophy 50-overs tournament to take place in England and Wales. Bangladesh has qualified for the eight-team Champions Trophy for the first time since 2006.
Other reports, however, say that the Australia tour of Bangladesh may not take place until September of 2017.
Though Australia balked at sending their national cricket teams to Bangladesh last year, the Australia soccer team did travel to Bangladesh for one match.
As Bangladesh continues to put together the schedule for the country’s emerging cricket team for 2017, the BCB also announced that the Tigers would travel to Ireland in May, in advance of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, to compete in a six-match tri-series which will also involve New Zealand.
Bangladesh last ventured to Ireland in 2010 where the Tigers played two of the seven one-day international matches that the two nations have played against each other all time. The two teams split that series, each winning one game.
[Featured Photo By Ryan Pierse/Getty Images]