Melbourne - Cricket Australia (CA) on Thursday
announced that due to concern about the safety and security of the
Australian Test team, it has been forced to postpone the up-coming tour
CA Chief Executive Officer
James Sutherland said that recent advice from the Australian Security and
Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
(DFAT) and CA’s Head of Security about an increasing security risk for the
Australian team in Bangladesh meant this month’s matches could not proceed.
An independent security assessment confirmed there is a risk of terrorism in
Bangladesh targeting Australian nationals.
"This has been a very difficult decision. Following the
most recent information from Australian Government agencies and our own security
advisors, we have decided that, regrettably, we have no alternative but to
postpone the tour," Sutherland said.
"Over the last few days we have sought to obtain
as much information as possible about the risks for Australians travelling to
“We had hoped that the security concerns would fade, but unfortunately the
advice we have received from government, our own security experts and
independent security advisors has clearly indicated that there are now high
to our people should they make the trip.
“We have worked tirelessly to try to find a way for the tour to proceed,
but in the end it was simply not possible.
"Given the situation, we
have now advised the BCB and the International Cricket Council of our decision.
"We understand that this decision will be very
disappointing for the cricket community in Bangladesh.
"However, from an Australian perspective, the safety of our players and
officials is our highest priority. We will work with the BCB to reschedule the
tour as soon as possible.
“Bangladesh is clearly on the rise as a cricketing nation and our new-look
Australian team was looking forward to the challenge of playing this series.
From the moment we raised our concerns with the BCB they have been cooperative
and most understanding of the situation. Together with the Bangladeshi
Government, they left no stone unturned in trying to allay our concerns and we
are most appreciative of that.
“Cricket Australia and the BCB both exist to stage international cricket. It is
therefore so disappointing that external influences have affected a tour that
many Bangladeshis and Australians were looking forward to.”
was approached by ASIO and DFAT last Friday September 25 with urgent advice that
it had identified a potential security risk to Australian interests in
Bangladesh. This resulted in Cricket
Australia delaying the team’s departure for the tour which was scheduled for
Monday, September 28. In that time CA Head of Security Sean Carroll flew to
Dhaka for meetings with the Bangladesh Government, Bangladesh Cricket Board,
the Australian High Commission and with DFAT.
The Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) Chief Executive Alistair Nicholson
said: “The decision by Cricket Australia to postpone the tour is the correct
one in these difficult circumstances, particularly from a player safety and
welfare point of view.
“The process for arriving at this decision was rigorous and
we were in constant contact with CA, their security team, and the Australian
players. It was by no means a call made lightly; it was made based on the
recommendations of experts from a variety of organisations, including DFAT,
CA’s security team, and independent security assessors. Ultimately it was
determined that the risk to the safety of players and support staff was too
great for the tour to go ahead.
“From the players’ point of view, they fully support the
decision that’s been made, however, they were looking forward to facing off
against a challenging Bangladesh side playing on their home turf.
“The circumstances that led to the decision to cancel the
tour are bigger than the game of cricket, and it’s important to view the issue
in this context. Where there are elements that are beyond our control – as
there are in this case - the importance of player safety is brought sharply
into focus, and this is absolutely paramount.
“We will continue to work with CA in terms of the decisions
that follow, and keep supporting the players as the 2015/16 season gets