Sydney - Australia's new cricket captain
Steve Smith on Friday switched focus to New Zealand's upcoming tour as he
voiced regret that a two-Test series in Bangladesh had to be called off over
"The safety and the security of the
players is the biggest concern," Smith told reporters.
"It's not safe enough for us to travel
at this time."
He noted that the Bangladesh tour would
have been his first as full-time captain following Michael Clarke's recent
"It was a great opportunity for
us," Smith said.
"It's a new team and new players and
we were all really looking forward to getting over there and playing."
Cricket Australia chief executive James
Sutherland said late on Thursday that an independent security assessment
confirmed the "risk of terrorism in Bangladesh targeting Australian
Australia's security and intelligence
organisation and department of foreign affairs had warned about an increased
risk of militant attacks in Bangladesh.
Dhaka fought to keep the tour alive,
insisting players would be given the level of security usually reserved for
visiting heads of state.
"Many countries face this kind of
terrorist threat but it never stops cricket," Nazmul Hassan, the
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president said in Dhaka.
"With the kind of blanket security
that we had offered them, I can't see how they would have faced any
However, the shooting dead of an Italian
aid worker in Dhaka's diplomatic quarter on Monday night in a murder claimed by
Islamic State group escalated fears.
Smith said the focus had now moved on to
preparing for the southern summer visit of the Kiwis, with the first of three
Tests starting on November 5 in Brisbane.
"New Zealand have played some very
good cricket of late," he said.
"They've got a very good squad so it's
gonna be a big challenge for us."
After losing the Ashes to England during
their northern summer and several veterans retiring from the international
game, Smith looked forward to the future.
"It's a magnificent opportunity, it's
a pretty a new-look side at the moment. I guess a generational change in
"We are gonna be prepared well for the
first Test match against New Zealand at the Gabba," he vowed.
"I'm really excited about leading this